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Is It Time to Replace Your AC Unit?

  • May 05, 2016
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Most homeowners know when their air conditioning unit needs repairs, especially during the hot, summer months. The signs are simple, the unit stops heating your home effectively.  However, many homeowners question when their air conditioner is beyond repair and needs to be replaced. Like most home appliances, air conditioners have limited service lives and will eventually require replacement.     

Here are some questions that can help you determine when it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit.

Is the AC Unit Producing Cool Air?

When a broken air conditioner is beyond repair, it will no longer produce cold air. If you set your air conditioner to its full capacity and still can’t feel cold air, replace the unit. Air conditioners that no longer produce cold air likely have a broken compressor or low Freon levels. Typically, these issues can’t be resolved with simple repairs and require the homeowner to replace the air conditioning unit.

Can You Feel a Steady Flow of Air Coming From the AC Vents?

Air conditioners that don’t produce a steady flow of air may have debris obstructing the ventilation system. If left untreated, the debris may damage your air conditioning system and require you to replace the unit. Debris can also become a health hazard for you and your family.

Reduced air flow from an AC unit can also be a sign of a failing AC compressor, which often requires replacing the entire unit as well.

Have You Noticed Your Home is More Humid When the AC is Running?

You may have the wrong size of air conditioner in your home if your house feels humid when the AC is running. Pay attention to the humidity levels in your home during the summer. If you notice high humidity levels, you may need to replace your air conditioning unit.

Have You Recently Noticed an Increase of Dust in Your Home?

Your air conditioner should filter out harmful particles and dust from inside your house. If you notice more dust throughout your home than normal, your AC system may have a leak in the ductwork or need replacement.

Are You Paying More Money on Your Energy Bill This Year Compared with Last Year?

Outdated air conditioners often use more energy than newer units. Older units also tend to get progressively less efficient over time.

 If possible, check your electric bills from past summers to compare energy costs. If you notice your utility bills are higher now compared with last year, you should consider updating your AC system. High-energy bills may be a result of the air conditioner taking longer to cool your home or leaks in your ductwork.

Have You Noticed Moisture Near Your AC Unit?

Moisture near your air conditioner doesn’t always mean you need to replace the unit. The water could mean a drain tube in your AC unit is broken or blocked. Often, an AC technician can easily replace the tube without having to replace the unit.

However, water near your AC unit could also be a leak in the refrigerant container. Damaged refrigerant containers can cause health risks and may require you to replace your AC unit.

Call an AC technician immediately if you see water near your air conditioner. Even small leaks can lead to serious water damages in your home.

Has It Been More than 15 Years Since You Replaced Your AC Unit?

The National Association of Home Builders recommends replacing air conditioning systems every 10-15 years. Your AC system may last longer than 15 years if you stay up-to-date with regular maintenance. However, even if your AC unit runs smoothly after the expected service life, you may want to replace the unit with a more efficient model.

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, call an AC technician. Your AC professional can help you determine when your system is beyond repair and requires replacement.