As a homeowner there are always things to do to improve your house. In our last blog post we looked at affordable home improvements you can make to increase your home’s market value (hint: replace your furnace!). But when it comes to your air conditioner there are a few telltale signs that your A/C unit is nearing the end of it’s life. Let us help you determine if it’s time to replace your air conditioner or not.
Is your A/C more than 10 years old?
This is an easy question – how old is your air conditioner? Was the A/C unit installed in the home before you moved in and you have no idea how old it is? Or maybe it is more than 10 years old? As your A/C gets on in years, you should start preparing for the purchase of a new unit. Unlike furnaces, air conditioners sit outdoors and are exposed to the extreme temperatures throughout the year, which shortens their life expectancy. Modern air conditioners can last between 10-15 years and older units last about 10-12 years. If your unit is older than 10 years old it may be time to replace your air conditioner!
Regular maintenance and annual tune-ups by qualified technicians can improve the lifespan of your air conditioner. The lifespan can also be affected by how often you use the unit and whether or not the unit was sized correctly for your home when it was installed. Keep in mind that as your A/C grows older, its mechanical parts can become obsolete or unavailable for your particular model. If you aren’t able to replace a broken part, you may need to replace the air conditioner completely.
Does your A/C frequently break down?
If you’ve been getting annual tune-ups from qualified technicians, your air conditioner should not be experiencing breakdowns during the summer months. Many common A/C repairs are caused by the lack of annual maintenance. With this in mind, it’s a cause for concern if your air conditioner has multiple breakdowns despite regular maintenance. You might not need to replace your air conditioner immediately, but you should start planning on it in case your unit becomes inoperable.
Frequent breakdowns also means frequent repairs, and the cost of those repairs can add up. At a certain point, it might be more economical to purchase a new unit rather than sinking money into expensive repairs—especially if your warranty is expired.
Have your energy bills gone up?
Unless there are any drastic changes in your home’s energy use, your energy bill should stay around the same amount every month, fluctuating a bit for furnace and A/C season. An easy way to monitor this is to compare your current use to the same month’s use last year. If your energy use skyrocketed since turning on your A/C, it may be time to replace your air conditioner. These higher energy bills can indicate that your air conditioner is either malfunctioning or losing efficiency. Energy bills often start rising as an air conditioner gets older, so the two issues can be related. There are also online calculators to figure out the energy use of individual appliances such as this one from Direct Energy.
Has your home changed?
Did you recently add on to your home? Or did you do any extensive remodelling or changes to the windows or doors in your home? These alterations can affect your home’s layout or efficiency, which also affects your air conditioner requirements. An air conditioner that’s too small won’t cool your home well and it could be working under strain. An A/C that’s too big will short cycle, which also shortens its overall lifespan. If you’ve made changes to your home recently you may need to replace your air conditioner as well.
Is it time?
An air conditioning expert at Ignite can perform the necessary assessments to let you know if it’s time to replace your air conditioner. Call us today at (780) 919-4916 or email us. Our HVAC professionals can test your current unit and give you an honest recommendation in regards to your air conditioner needs. Our current promotion for financing a new air conditioner can be found here. At Ignite, your comfort is our concern!