Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner
Although air conditioners do need to be replaced at some point, you don’t want to replace your unit too early as you would then be paying for an appliance that you don’t need. By keeping your eye out for certain indicators that your unit is no longer working the way it needs to be, you can make a decision on when to replace your old air conditioner.
One of the major indicators that your air conditioner should be replaced is its age. Most air conditioners have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years depending on the quality of maintenance it has received over the years. Once the air conditioner hits 10 years of age, it may begin to need repairs that can be expensive.
If it becomes more expensive to have the unit repaired than the cost of a replacement, it’s time to bite the bullet and replace the air conditioner. If a major part fails and the unit is no longer covered under warranty, it is likely that it will be more cost effective in the long run to simply replace the AC. You don’t want to make a major repair only to have another major component fail.
Over time, you may find that your air conditioner is running non-stop even though your home never seems to cool off. This could mean that your air conditioner is no longer running properly or efficiently. Your utility bills may increase as a result and your indoor humidity levels may rise, making your home less comfortable for you and your family. By replacing the AC, you may find a new model that is more efficient and works better for your home.
When Should I Repair or Replace My AC?
All air conditioners require a certain amount of maintenance and repairs throughout their lives. Not only do repairs keep your air conditioner running efficiently, they can also allow your unit to last longer before needing to be replaced. This can make it very difficult to actually determine when it is the right time to replace your AC. However, there are three questions you can ask yourself when making the decision to repair or to replace your AC.
Does your AC exceed the 5,000 rule?
The 5,000 rule is used by some technicians to determine if the AC has become a money pit. Simply take the age of your AC and multiply it by the estimated repair costs. If the number is more than 5,000, it’s time to consider a replacement. For example, a 10-year-old air conditioner that has an estimated repair cost of $600 equals 6,000. The unit should probably be replaced due to its age and the likelihood that the repair costs will only increase.
Has the warranty expired?
New units should come with a warranty in the event that a component breaks. The warranty only lasts for a certain period of time. Once the warranty expires, you will have to foot the bill for any major repairs. If the unit is still under warranty, it may be best to keep the AC until it expires as this will save you more in the long run.
Are you happy with the cost of your utility bills?
Air conditioners are constantly being upgraded to become more energy efficient. An AC that is efficient uses less electricity to create the same amount of chilled air than less efficient units. Energy Star recommends an upgrade if the AC in question is 10 years or older. Energy-efficient models can reduce utility costs by up to 20 percent. However, if your AC is more than 10 years old but still works properly, you may want to wait until it needs major repairs.
Types of Air Conditioners
When you’ve made the decision to replace your air conditioner, you have a couple of options available.
Split Air Conditioners
These systems have an indoor component and an outdoor component. The evaporator coil is located inside and removes heat from the circulating air. The condenser unit outside releases the heat and houses the compressor, which moves the refrigerant back and forth between the indoor and outdoor components. This type of air conditioner is usually installed in homes that have a central furnace so that the two systems can share the ductwork.
Packaged Central Air Conditioners
All of the main components, which include the condenser, compressor and the evaporator, are located in a single unit. A system of ducts move the chilled air indoors and draw hot indoor air out. This type of air conditioning unit can be combined with a natural gas furnace.
Ductless Air Conditioners
If the building does not have ductwork, a ductless system is an option. Like split air conditioners, ductless units have indoor and outdoor components that draw hot air out and blow cold air in. These units are usually mounted onto a wall with tubing that connects the two components together. These units are only meant to cool single rooms so they are generally used for smaller homes or in buildings where not all of the rooms need to be air conditioned.
Replacing Your AC
Purchasing a new air conditioner is a big investment for many homeowners. By contacting your local AC company in Las Vegas, you can get help determining when you need a new air conditioner. If you do need an AC replacement, a technician can also walk you through your options to find the right type of air conditioning unit for you.