AC units tend to wear out with regular use. However, as with all machines, routine maintenance like cleaning out or replacing the filter or checking for air leakages will help it function and work as efficiently as it should.
However, there are certain conditions in which replacement might be better than repairing the AC. Knowing the difference between when to replace and repair can save you stress and money. Once you start noticing two or more of the following signs, it is time to consider investing in a new AC unit.
Increasingly Expensive Repairs
The repair costs of most AC units are reasonable. However, if you have to keep paying higher fees for the repair or replacement of certain parts, or you have to keep replacing one or two parts, it is time to consider an upgrade. You should not have to spend a small fortune on keeping your unit running. If you do, then it is a sign that the unit is about to die.
Older than 10 Years
Here’s a quick question: would you drive your current vehicle for ten years? Most people would not. If anything, they change their vehicles every few years. The same goes for your AC. Any unit that’s older than ten years old should be replaced.
At that age, the AC will require frequent repairs to keep going, not to mention the fact that they will not be as energy efficient. This is where the 5,000 rule comes in. Check how much you’ve spent on your AC over the last six months and multiply that by the number of years you have owned it.
If it exceeds 5,000, then you know that it’ll be more beneficial to purchase a new unit – which often goes for between $3,500 and $5,000 – than to keep repairing the unit. In fact, Energy Star recommends changing your unit every decade, while most AC technicians recommend 15 years.
Poor Efficiency and Performance
There’s increased emphasis on energy efficiency as well as lower energy bills these days. Your AC unit often consumes as much as one-third of your energy bills. Therefore, units that require less energy to function will help reduce energy bills.
Older air conditioners tend to consume more energy and may be incapable of cooling as quickly and effectively as newer models. This poor performance is often grounds for a replacement. If you are purchasing a new unit, look for newer models with seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of between 16 and 21.
Increase in Humidity Buildup
Your air conditioning unit is designed to lower indoor humidity. If there’s increased humidity in the home while your AC is running, have a professional AC technician take a look at it.
Sometimes, it could just be a problem of draft, holes in the walls, the ventilation unit, or a place that isn’t airtight. However, if you have an airtight home, and your air conditioner has recently undergone routine maintenance check, then it is possible that the unit is not functioning as well as it should.
More Dust in the Home
Your AC unit should funnel dust outside your apartment. If you keep your doors closed, have an airtight apartment, and don’t live in a dusty environment, yet there’s still significant dust, then it means your AC is not working well.
Talk to a professional AC technician and see what his recommendations are. They’ll often be able to give you solid advice regarding replacement or repairs.
Frequent AC Unit Breakdowns
Your air conditioning unit should not break down very often. When an AC quits once every month or two or makes unusual noises, you know it is time for an upgrade.
Whatever the case, speak to a professional HVAC technician such as Bob Heinmiller and listen to their recommendations. It’ll save you money and discomfort.
The writer of this article, Oscar King, enjoys spending his time working on home improvement projects and writes articles to give his audience ideas of how to make their home more liveable. If you wish to learn more about Oscar you can visit his profile on Google+.