Is it Time to Fix or Replace Your AC?

a resident of Simi Valley, CA, you understand that air conditioning is vital for the comfort of your home. During the summers, your air conditioner runs more often than any other fixture in your home and it typically runs well into the fall and early winter months as well. As a homeowner, one of the most difficult decisions you may have to make about your air conditioner is when it’s time to replace it. Replacing your current air conditioner may seem like a big investment, but the costs of continuing to repair and operate the old, inefficient unit often cost as much, if not more in the long run. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your air conditioner? Here are a few signs that your old unit is actually costing you more money and it’s time to replace it with a new air conditioner.

Age of the Air Conditioner

On average, a well-maintained air conditioner typically lasts between 10-15 years, but once it has reached the ten-year mark, you should consider the options for replacement. Although they may last as long as 15 years, the older the unit gets, the less effective it is and the more frequent and costly the repairs will be. Another problem with older air conditioning units is that they often have a significant buildup of dirt and dust, which may lead to health issues due to the poor indoor air quality.

Increased Energy Costs

The older an air conditioning unit is, the less energy efficient it is. Even if the air conditioner you currently own has a 10 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating), which was considered high ten years ago, the age of the unit can significantly affect its energy efficiency. Air conditioning units that are rated 10 SEER or less or if you have to turn the thermostat down lower than usual just to get the temperatures you are accustomed to; it can cause an increase in your energy costs. The best way to verify this is to monitor your utility bills for 2-3 months in a row and check the energy usage. If there is a large difference in usage, but you haven’t changed the thermostat or left the unit running longer than normal, it means the air conditioner isn’t doing its job. Replacing the unit with a new, higher energy-efficient unit will help to keep your home more comfortable and significantly lower your energy bills.

Unusual Noises & Frequent Repairs

If you notice the air conditioner is making unusual sounds, such as banging, squealing or rumbling, it could be the result of damaged parts. In some instances, parts can be repaired, such as a broken fan belt. However, if you are frequently calling a repair company because the unusual noises have turned into more serious problems, such as no cold air coming out, it’s probably due to a part that is damaged beyond repair, such as the motor. Over time the noises you have become accustomed to hearing, such as a belt slipping or noisy bearings, will eventually lead to more serious issues, costlier repairs and possibly a non-working air conditioner. The best way to deal with unusual noises is to turn the unit off and contact a professional heating and air contractor as soon as possible. In most situations, you will save money on repairs by replacing the old unit.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the California weather is tough without an effective, efficient air conditioner. So, not only is it important to properly maintain your air conditioner and change the filter regularly, but if your home isn’t as cool as you’d like or if the repairs are becoming more and more frequent, it’s time to consider replacing your current air conditioner with a new one.

To schedule a maintenance inspection or to discuss the options for a new air conditioning unit, contact RR Electric, Heating & Air.