Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, play sports, go on a vacation or do numerous other things. It is not a wonderful time to have your air conditioner break down. To keep this situation from becoming a reality, it’s important to keep your eye on the health of your air conditioner. Most times an air conditioner doesn’t just stop working out of nowhere. Instead, it’s usually a gradual process. If you know the signs to look for, you can prepare to replace your air conditioner before it gives out. Here are five signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner:
- It’s old.
If your air conditioner is 15 years or older, you should be looking to update it. Older systems are extremely inefficient, which results in higher energy costs, and start to become unreliable.
- It’s leaking refrigerant.
If your air conditioner is older than 10 years and leaking refrigerant, it’s time for a new unit. The leak can either be contained inside the unit or seeping outside. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as fixing the leak and buying more refrigerant. The refrigerant from 10 years ago is being phased out due to new environmental standards.
- It’s loud.
If your air conditioner is making more noise than usual when operating, that could mean trouble with the compressor or fan motor. If it’s out of warranty and older than 12 years, we usually recommend replacing the unit rather than to trying to repair the compressor. The compressor is the heart of the unit — and the most expensive part to replace. The fan motor is much less expensive. A professional evaluation will determine if repairing the fan motor or replacing the whole system is best based on the overall condition of the air conditioner.
- It needs frequent repairs.
If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, it might be nearing the end of its useful life. Rather than continuing to invest money into repairs, you may want to think about investing that repair money into a new system.
- It’s gradually increasing energy bills.
If your energy bills are increasing while your thermostat has stayed the same, your air conditioner may no longer be able to operate efficiently. Running an inefficient system can be costly — meaning it might be time to consider replacing your air conditioner. Air conditioners need regular maintenance to stay in top condition and operate at peak efficiency. If you haven’t had an annual tune-up by a professional, it’s safe to say your system may not be operating at peak efficiency.
Knowing if your system is nearing the end of its life allows you to financially plan for a new one. Planning ahead gives you time to research types of air conditioners, set aside money, schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you, and take advantage of deals and rebates. MidAmerican Energy offers rebates through the SAVE program, and Carrier — which manufactures air conditioners — also offers rebates at various times throughout the year. Plus, there are a lot of opportunities for financing, such as through Bell Brothers financing options.
If your air conditioner is showing one of these five signs, contact us for an inspection or to discuss upgrading to a new system.