We are well into the throes of summer, and as any homeowner in our area knows these temperatures are going to last a long while. It’s vital, then, that you have a fully functional and efficiently operating air conditioner.
But what if you don’t? What if you have an aging unit, and you’re unsure that it’s really up to the task of keeping you cool not only for the rest of summer but well into fall? Nobody should be without an air conditioner any longer than necessary. Air conditioners aren’t just a luxury in a climate like ours, they’re a necessity. But no matter how well yours is made or cared for, it won’t last forever! Is yours ready to retire? Read on to learn how to determine this.
Your Monthly Energy Bills Are Spiking
As a cooling system ages, it starts to lose its efficiency as the components wear down. You won’t notice this efficiency loss at first–it will be subtle. However, over time the decline in age and subsequent efficiency will become so severe that your cooling system will be forced to run for longer periods of time to try to achieve the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat.
The longer operating time drives up the monthly cost of using your system. If you notice that your AC system is costing much more to use each month than it did this same time last year, or than it does compared to your neighbors’ use and bills, then it can certainly be a sign that it’s time for you to upgrade.
You’re Constantly Calling for Repairs
Needing a repair or two every few years is normal. Parts like motor bearings and fan belts wear out, after all, and may need replacing or adjusting. Preventive maintenance fends off the worst and most sudden of AC repair needs, and therefore you shouldn’t need multiple repairs within a year’s time. If you do find yourself calling for AC repairs multiple times a year, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
A good rule of thumb to go by here is that if your next repair or set of AC repairs is going to cost half or more of what the system is worth–and that system is 10-15 years old–it’s probably a good idea to start looking into your replacement options instead!
Your Air Conditioner is 15+ Years Old
Even a well-cared for and properly maintained air conditioner is going to wear down eventually, no matter what. The average lifespan of an air conditioner, depending on the manufacturer and the type of cooling system it is, is about 10-15 years. Even if your air conditioner still runs beyond that point, there’s no way it’s going to do so as efficiently as it once did.
Additionally, a system that old is likely to have R-22 refrigerant in it, which is an environmentally harmful refrigerant that was phased-out of manufacturing at the beginning of 2020. Today’s systems use a more eco-friendly option, and are much more efficient than systems of the past.