No matter how top-notch your air conditioner was when you bought it or how well you’ve maintained it, it will eventually need to be replaced. At some point, just as with your car, the expense of repairs and time wasted on scheduling them will become tiring. However, it’s not always easy to know when the time has come to upgrade to a new unit.
Age, condition, and performance are three general factors to consider when trying to decide if you need to invest in a new air conditioner. Moreover, if your AC is running well but is getting old, there are still some smart reasons to start considering a replacement soon.
1. Costs of Continuous Repairs
Repeated service calls for your AC system can not only get expensive, but they are also an inconvenience. However, you may be wondering just how costly these repairs need to be to warrant buying a whole new system. One way to come to a decision is to establish a cutoff for repair costs. Another way is to note if the cost of a single repair is nearly half the price of a new unit. Although, it’s always best to consult with an HVAC professional about repair vs. replacement costs before making a decision.
2. Age of Unit
Manufacturers typically estimate that air conditioners will only last up to 20 years. (at best) That means that a 10-year-old system is past its prime. If your unit has reached a similar age, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time for a new unit. However, it might be time to check out new models in case a replacement becomes a reality soon.
3. High Energy Bills
Although energy is a hot commodity in today’s market, this hasn’t always been the case. This means that decades-old AC units are significantly less efficient, resulting in unnecessarily high energy bills. Although older units may still cool quite well, they are using more energy to operate. It is estimated that a newer unit can cut your costs by up to 40%. This means that a typical $300 bill with an old unit could be as low as $180 with a new one.
You may want to make your home more energy-efficient overall. This is an excellent, conscientious reason to invest in a new air conditioner. Just because a unit is functioning correctly, it doesn’t mean that it’s running efficiently. Moreover, being able to afford your energy bill comfortably doesn’t mean that it can’t be significantly lower. Sometimes, going green is a simple reason enough to invest in a new unit.
5. Issues with Ductwork
One way your AC system can show its age is with its ductwork. It’s not uncommon for ducts to deteriorate and develop holes or rips that will restrict airflow and allow hot air inside. It might be a good idea to have an HVAC technician come out and look at your ducts to determine their condition. Old and dirty ducts can also experience mold and mildew growth that can cause allergies and illnesses with you, your family, and your guests.
6. Noisy Unit
If your AC unit sounds like it’s falling apart, a system breakdown may occur in the future. Squeaking, thumping, ticking, and hissing can mean that something is seriously wrong. Replacing a noisy old unit that may be near to failing will not only save you money in the long run but will also ensure that your home is safer. AC systems can cause fires, and it’s just not worth the risk.
7. Freon Ban
If your air conditioner uses R-22 Freon, it is causing harmful effects on the Earth’s ozone layer. The federal government began phasing out this refrigerant in the early 2000s, so you’re long overdue for a new unit if your old one still uses this Freon. Again, you’ll save both your money and the environment by purchasing a new unit.
8. New Renovations
Say you’re considering turning your attic into a loft space, or you’ve wanted to remove your drop ceilings. These types of renovations can take a toll on your AC system in terms of cooling load. If the size of your cooling space increases, your old unit may not be able to keep up. If you’re thinking about such renovations, contact an AC professional to help determine if you need a new unit for your updated space.
9. Bad Fit
Many times, people will buy a home and keep all the original appliances. When it comes to the AC system, this can mean that the unit is no longer a good fit for the home. It could be either too large or too small for the size of the house. If too big, you could be wasting money on energy you don’t need. On the other hand, a unit that is too small for your home could mean less comfort for you and your family. Especially if you recently bought your home, talk to an AC professional to determine if your unit is the right size for your home.
There are many things to consider when it comes to deciding if you should buy a new AC system for your home. Ultimately, it will depend on your individual needs. However, upgrading to a new unit offers many advantages for the condition of the air in your home, as well as those that will benefit both your pocketbook and the environment.