Even the most durable air conditioning systems can eventually break down. Regular HVAC maintenance, such as an annual AC tune-up, could help your system survive as long as possible while ensuring efficiency. Unfortunately, you'll end up having to get a new one. What are the signs that your AC unit is ready for replacement? How to recognize these symptoms?
However, investing in a new air conditioner can be challenging. HVAC system repairs are often among the most expensive you will face as a homeowner. People usually wait until the last minute to replace their HVAC system. Also, they decide to replace only when the repairs are no longer profitable. Many of them do not pay attention to the energy efficiency of their outdated devices. In this article, we deal with the signs indicating when it's time to retire and replace old appliances with new ones.
What is the lifespan of your AC system? The average lifespan of a central AC system is between 12 and 15 years, while some can even last up to 20 years. Of course, there are several variables to consider, such as the regularity of maintenance, the location of the unit, the intensity of its use, and the manufacturer’s reputation.
Older HVAC systems can still be regularly maintained. Thanks to technical standards, aging systems can still be easily maintained. Also, finding a qualified professional for regular maintenance and repairs is possible even for older systems due to the wide availability of replacement parts and servicing for these systems.
However, there are times when repairing an outdated air conditioner is not worth the cost and should be replaced immediately. And here are the signs that your AC unit is ready for replacement:
Increased energy costs Rising energy prices are not to blame if you've noticed that your central air conditioner is costing extra to run. Costs can add up when your HVAC system declines in efficiency over the years. As it ages, an air conditioner can lose as much as nine percent of its efficiency for every point in its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).
What does this mean for you? Unfortunately, the fees on your account will increase. With the longer time required to reach target temperatures, the system will put more effort into reaching those temperatures. It means more time spent working, money spent on bills and maintenance, etc.
The fact that it isn't cooling properly anymore is perhaps the most telling symptom that your air conditioner is in its final days. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes after turning on the thermostat for cold air to blow through the vents. If it doesn't, or if the AC goes on but blasts warm air, it indicates it's having trouble keeping up.
If the system is struggling to process your commands However, not every HVAC system failure needs a new installation. A clogged duct is another possible cause. A professional can repair your air conditioner if it is not producing any cool air. However, it may be time for an update if your air conditioner is on and looks to be functioning normally but is no longer effectively cooling your house.
If you did not notice these signs in time and find yourself with a problem in the middle of the season, then there is a problem. For example, in the middle of summer, your AC breaks down, and you are in a climate where the summers are as hot as in California. Maybe you'll think about moving somewhere where you might not even need AC. Pros can handle these tasks when this situation occurs, making your move faster and smoother.
Increased air humidity in the home and even the appearance of mold and mildewThe primary function of your air conditioner is to dehumidify the indoor environment. An evaporator coil can accomplish this by recirculating heated air that has been pulled from your home and cooled. Your system can have a moisture leak that it removes from the air. It is typical for the air conditioner in your house to release some water.
However, as your air conditioner ages and loses efficiency, or if problems arise with the evaporator coil, the unit will not be able to collect as much moisture from the air in your house. Moisture levels in your home may rise, and you can notice condensation on windows or moisture around vents and pipes. Additionally, you can see mold or mildew growing in your apartment or house. That could be one of the most obvious signs that your AC unit is ready for replacement.
Any unusual sound or unpleasant smell from your system indicates a problemNo squeaking, rattling, creaking, or screeching sounds should come from a well-maintained HVAC unit. Your air conditioner's useful life may be coming to an end if it makes strange or loud sounds while running. Similarly, if you turn on your central valve and notice a peculiar stench emanating from the vents, it may be time to replace your air conditioner. If your air conditioner is functioning properly, the vents’ air shouldn’t have musty or stale odors. There should never be any stale or smoky odors present.
In the heat of summer, you depend on your air conditioner to keep your house at a pleasant temperature, so the expense of repairing a damaged system is understandable. But before the hot season starts, check your system; if necessary, it may be replaced with a brand-new one.
Don't wait for the obvious signs that the AC unit is ready for replacementYou certainly don't want to find yourself on thin ice when the heating or cooling season comes and your HVAC system is at the end of its life. Pay close attention to these obvious symptoms of your HVAC system that is about to retire. There should not be any strange sounds from the system. There must also be no increased humidity in the room. Follow these tips to understand signs that the AC unit is ready for replacement and be prepared to manage on time.
After years in the HVAC industry working for both small and large companies, we knew we could offer customers our experience, good prices, and excellent service. So, we started our own HVAC company.