With temperatures still in the mild range and other pressing matters on our minds, it may seem strange to see a blog post about air conditioners. Still though, summer will be here before we know it. You deserve optimal comfort inside your home. If you have an aging air conditioner or a cooling system in disrepair, managing these needs now will save you both time and money later.
The Maynard Man often gets asked how to tell if an air conditioner needs replacement. After all, sometimes it can get by with another repair. The short answer to this question is, “it depends.” It truly does depend, on a number of factors. Read below as The Maynard Man outlines some questions to ask yourself to determine what your next best step might be.
What is the Age of Your Unit?
Generally speaking, if your air conditioner is in the 10-15 year range, it’s a better investment to replace it rather than repair it. Sure, there are very minor problems that can impact an older system. Something like debris in the system or air filter restricting airflow is easily resolvable. A worn fan belt is easily replaceable.
If you have a problem with the compressor or a repair need that keeps cropping up—more on that below—and your system is near the end of its estimated lifespan anyway, it’s definitely work considering an upgrade.
How Efficient Is Your System?
Even in just the past few years, air conditioning technology has made great strides. In fact, the money you save in energy costs by installing a newer, more efficient system may be worth it even if your system is in the 7-10 year range.
Professional, annual maintenance helps your air conditioner retain 95% of its original efficiency. But even a well maintained system has its limits. If you find your energy bills rising above what you paid this time last year, or you’re paying much more than your neighbors are to cool your home, it’s a sign your cooling system isn’t as efficient anymore.
How Frequent and Costly Are Your Repair Needs?
How many times have you called an HVAC technician to fix the same problem? We mentioned above that if you have a repair need that keeps cropping up in an aging system, it worth considering an upgrade. Even if it’s not the same repair need, if you are calling for repairs every few months, it’s a problem for your wallet and your comfort.
It’s natural for air conditioners to need repairs. Parts get worn down due to everyday wear and tear. Small repair needs are usually found during your maintenance sessions. If every year or two you need a small fix, that’s expected.
If your next cooling system repair or set of repairs is going to cost over half of what your system is even worth, then financially it just makes more sense to upgrade and replace your unit.