In just a couple of weeks, the official start of fall will be here. And in just a couple of months, the temperatures will start to show that. We’ll be turning our attention to our home heating systems, ensuring that they are properly maintained and ready to meet our wintertime needs.
But what if you have an aging air conditioner that struggled a bit this summer? If it’s still running “fine,” should you bother replacing it now, or can you just wait until next spring?
You know the phrase, “better safe than sorry”? It applies here. Sure, your air conditioner may be functional still. But if it is aging or experiencing any of the symptoms we’re about to describe, you may be facing a completely broken down system when you go to turn it on for the first time next year. Why not avoid that by investing in a new system now? Read on as we dive deeper into this.
How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?
Don’t worry if you can’t immediately answer this—most homeowners don’t think about it on a regular basis. But it’s easy to find out. Go out to the condenser unit of your air conditioner (the outside unit) and find the metal nameplate. This is typically attached to the back of the cabinet.
This nameplate should have the manufacturer’s date on it. If it does not, take a digital snapshot of the nameplate, and give our office a call! We’ll be able to use the model and serial number located on the plate and can give you the date.
The typical air conditioner, when well-maintained and cared for, will last about 10–15 years. After that point, it’s simply not possible for the cooling system to work as efficiently as it did when it was new. Plus, newer air conditioner models are being built with much higher efficiency than those of the past.
Does Your AC Cost More to Operate Monthly?
Check out your energy bills from this summer. Are they much higher than they were this time last year? How about in comparison to what your neighbors are paying? This is a sign that something is causing the system to work less efficiently, which happens as parts wear down.
Eventually, wear and tear gets so bad that air conditioners are forced to run for longer periods of time to compensate. The longer run time is what drives up the monthly costs of using your system. If your AC system costs much more to use per month than you think it should, you may need a new one.
Do You Constantly Need AC Repairs?
Needing AC repair every now and then is to be expected. But if you call for AC repairs a few times a year, consult with our professionals about whether it would be more economically feasible to upgrade the system now.
A general rule of thumb is that if your next repair or set of AC repairs is going to cost over half of what the system is worth, it makes more sense to replace it.