Air conditioners are meant to be out of sight, out of mind most of the time, which is how most homeowners prefer it. But that same system design can make it difficult to know when it’s time to replace your AC. Recognizing whether your AC is at the end of its life or not doesn’t have to be a mystery, though. It’s easy to see when you know the signs.
Typically, air conditioners last 10-15 years. However, they can last longer with regular maintenance throughout the years and a little bit of luck. Once your AC reaches 10 years old, start monitoring it closely for other signs that AC replacement is in order, including the ones listed below. The system’s age is a good indicator that end-of-life problems may start surfacing soon.
Some homeowners don’t know exactly how old their AC is, especially if they didn’t live in the home when the AC was installed. But if your AC still uses R-22 refrigerant, it’s well over 10 years old.
R-22 is harmful to the environment, specifically the ozone layer, and has been slowly phasing out since 2010. As of January 1, 2020, the production of R-22 is completely banned in the U.S. If your AC has a refrigerant problem, you’ll be in a big pinch, so it’s best to replace your system in favor of a newer, more efficient one.
High Energy Bills
As an air conditioner ages, it loses efficiency — most appliances do. This is reflected in your monthly energy bills. If your electricity payment is much higher than it should be, your AC just might not be working as well as it used to, wasting your money in the process. It’s often best to invest in a new AC system to save money down the road.
Ask yourself how often your system needs repairs. Has it needed more than one major repair in the past couple of years? If so, you can expect the same in the future. When an air conditioner requires frequent, costly repairs, expenses add up quickly. It may simply be more cost-effective to pay for AC installation than continue pouring money into your old, less efficient system. This way you can rest easy knowing that your air conditioner is reliable and efficient.
Strange Noises and Odors
If there’s a weird smell coming from your vents or a loud noise happens every time your AC turns on, it’s not something you should ignore. While it may not seem like these are major issues, sounds and odors can indicate significant problems in your AC system. If you notice these signs in your old AC, call a professional HVAC company to inspect the system as soon as possible. While only repairs may be required, addressing the issue is crucial.
Barker’s Heating & Cooling is the College Station area’s trusted HVAC company for air conditioner installation. Contact us today for more information or to begin a service request.