There comes a time when AC repairs give way to air conditioning replacement. How can you be sure it’s time for you? There are common signs to watch for.
Air Conditioning Replacement Warning Signs
“It was so inefficient, and our electric bills,” Sandie said. “We just put everything together and said we’ve got to bite the bullet.”
Her first warning sign: the noise. The sound of outside condenser units could be heard down the block.
“I’ve heard that noise many times,” said Rick with Absolute Comfort Air, our heating and air HomeShow Pros. “The bearings inside the compressor started separating.”
Age & Air Conditioning Replacement
While every system needs maintenance, there comes a point when replacement becomes more affordable. If you can multiply the age of your unit by repair costs and get a number over $5,000, it’s time to seriously consider air conditioning replacement.
Then again, some signs of age are easy to spot.
“White rust tells us that the coils in your condensing unit outside are starting to deteriorate,” says Rick. “This lowers your efficiency on the outside unit.”
Refrigerant & Air Conditioning Replacement
If your system needs added refrigerant, that’s a cause for concern. Your AC system is a closed system. It doesn’t consume refrigerant. Some leaks can be repaired, but a coil leak in an R-22 system means your system should be replaced.
The average home system loses 10% to 30% of air between leaving the system and reaching your living space. That means inefficient ducts lose even more, costing you money every minute your system is running. When assessing your need for air conditioning replacement, be sure to get a duct-leakage test.
Cost of Operation
Advances in AC technology mean greatly improved energy efficiency makes air conditioning replacement a money saving choice.
“You could easily be looking at anywhere from 20 to 30 percent decrease in your electricity costs,” says Rick. “If it’s 15 or more years old, air conditioning replacement makes perfect sense.”
Size & Air Conditioning Replacement
A properly sized system not only cools better, but removes humidity as well. A system that’s too big will short cycle, meaning it will cool so fast, it won’t run long enough to remove humidity. This leaves your home cold, but clammy. Too small a system, on the other hand, will struggle to reach temperature and probably not be able to keep up in extreme heat.
Correct system sizing is equal parts art and science. Factors such as your attic’s configuration, insulation, size and number of windows, your orientation to the sun, and how many people live in your home all factor into calculating system size.
A Cool But Happy Ending
Balancing cost of operation vs cost of replacement is ultimately how to determine if you’re due for air conditioning replacement. When that time comes, remember this: installation day is the most important day in your system’s life. Get it right from the start by working with a company you can trust, like Tom’s HomeShow Pros at Absolute Comfort Air.
Remember Sandie’s noisy condensers? That’s a thing of the past now.
“I wonder if it’s on, but I know it’s on because it feels good,” Sandie says. “It feels different, and I was told that’s the humidity that’s been taken out, which is really nice.”