Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, play sports, go on vacation and numerous other activities, but a broken-down air conditioner can kill your summer vibe. That’s why it’s important to keep your eye on the health of your air conditioner.
Most times, your air conditioner won’t stop working out of nowhere. Instead, it’s usually a gradual process as the end of your air conditioner’s lifespan draws near. 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:
1. It’s old.
You should consider replacing your air conditioner if it is 15 years old or older. Systems start to become unreliable and are extremely inefficient as they age, which results in higher energy costs.
2. Your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant.
If your air conditioner is older than 10 years and leaking refrigerant, especially the R-22 refrigerant that is currently being phased out, 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, as the R-22 refrigerant is being phased out due to new environmental standards.
3. 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. While the fan motor is much less expensive, having a professional evaluate the overall condition of the air conditioner will determine if repairing the fan motor is the best option for you.
4. It needs frequent repairs.
Frequent repairs could be a sign that the end of your air conditioner’s lifespan is near. At this point, a new system may be a wiser investment than continuing to put money into those repairs.
5. It’s producing high energy bills.
Running an inefficient system can be costly. If you’re seeing high energy bills, but the temperature on your thermostat has been the same, it could be because your system is no longer able to operate efficiently and it’s time to replace it. 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.
Looking for signs that the end of your air conditioner’s lifespan is near can allow you to plan for a new one ahead of time. This gives you time to research types of air conditioners, set money aside, schedule a convenient appointment time and take advantage of any deals and rebates.