Your air conditioner will not be there with you forever. It will have to be replaced someday or the other. Air conditioning units usually last for at least a decade. And when you are considering swapping the old unit with a new one, age and noise could have played a major role in your decision to upgrade.
A non-working AC in summer spells disaster. You probably would have had the experience before and are in no mood to let that repeat itself. Regular AC maintenance and service are imperative to keep your AC setup functional always. But regular maintenance is not substituted for an eventual replacement. Your AC would wear out some day, and knowing the warning signs would help you be prepared for the inevitable.
Signs You Need a New AC
If your AC setup needs a new unit, it will let you know. The following signs shall give it to you:
As aforementioned, an AC would last anywhere between a decade or two if maintained well. No doubt, with age, the AC will require repairs and have increased performance problems. If your unit is old, check its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number too. This number denotes how much energy your unit consumes compared to the cool air it emits. SEER should be at least 13, but units made before 2006 could be lower at 10. This means decreased overall efficiency.
Also, older units most likely employ R-22 refrigerant gas, which the Environmental Protection Agency has banned, causing its phase-out. Though servicing your unit with R-22 is still possible, sourcing it is becoming difficult, and it also costs more. You may use an alternative approved refrigerant, but that would need extra labor to clear your AC unit of any R-22 remaining within.
A noisy air conditioner isn’t a good sign. Banging noises, for instance, could be due to a deranged indoor blower or a broken component. Rattling could mean the entire unit is falling apart. There are different kinds of noises your AC could make. If not checked in time, most could lead to major damage and the requirement for more costly repairs or a full replacement.
Higher Energy Bills
If your energy bills have been spiking up abnormally in the recent past, it could be because your AC is not functioning properly and using up excessive power. While an increase in power bills is normal during extreme months of winter and summer, consistent spikes in cost without equivalent alterations in your usage patterns are a warning sign. “Upgrading to a more efficient, new AC unit could bring down your electric bill by at least 20 percent,” says Orange County air conditioning contractor absoluteairconditioningoc.com.
Is the temperature of your house even throughout? If your thermostat has been set to the desired temperature and you find out some rooms aren’t getting properly cooled, this may mean your AC unit is not able to deliver on your cool air demands.
What Would Be the Cost?
Once you are sure about buying a new AC unit, the next immediate thing on your mind would be the new AC’s cost. You may not like this, but a new AC would run into thousands of dollars, with the usual range being $3,000-7,000. Certain kinds of units would cost more compared to others. On the positive side, if you pay more for increased quality up front, you would save more in maintenance and repairs in the future.
You may save some money on AC’s cost by buying the unit during off-seasons. In other words, once the hottest days of the year are behind, the demand for AC units go down and sellers cut down the prices to keep the sales going.
Also, it’s important to buy an AC unit that best suits your budget and requirements. Central, portable, geothermal, and packaged units have their own positives and negatives. Therefore, do your research so that you buy the right AC for your requirement.
Routine maintenance would help extend your current AC’s life. Typically, you must service your AC once every year. Also, most experts recommend checking the AC every spring. You could take care of simple DIY tasks, such as change the AC’s filter every month or three months and make sure the unit is not debris-infested.