Air-conditioning systems keep getting better with as the years go by, but of course not even the best can last forever. As a homeowner, one of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to make about your air conditioner is when it’s time for a new unit. Though a new AC unit can be a big investment, the costs of continuing to repair and operate an old one would be more expensive. The standard life expectancy of a centralized air conditioner unit is about 10-15 years, but if properly maintained, it could last more than 20 years.
Properly maintenance of an Ac unit can prolong its lifespan, but what does that mean? It’s Simple. Getting regular maintenance and servicing, includes changing filters regularly and keeping the condensing unit (outside) free of dirt and debris as well as keeping it away from direct sunlight, can increase your AC unit’s life.
Where you live can also affect how long your equipment will last. An air conditioner used in a hot and humid area is going to run almost 24 hours a day where a unit in an area with better weather condition will only be used for a season. The constant wear and tear on a system, even if it had a proper maintenance and regular tune-ups , will cause the equipment to fail earlier compared to the one used for one season a year. In addition, if you live near salt water, this will also shorten the life of condensing units. Long exposure to such condition will rust the components and eat away at them. Try not to have the sprinklers pointed at it either. This may also cause corrosion in the condensing unit and as a result it may fail much sooner.
So how can you understand when it’s time to replace your air conditioner? There are six signs we’ve listed below that can help you make your decision!
When to replace your air conditioner
- 1. Air conditioner is more than 10 years old. Generally speaking, you can expect a well-maintained air conditioner to last around 15 years. However, if your AC unit needs some expensive repairs and it is more than 10 years old, it would be more wisely to replace it. This is particularly true when you consider the advancements in efficiency we’ve seen with air conditioners in the past few decades.
- 2. Air conditioner is inefficient. If your AC unit has a low SEER rating, it can impose you costs of operating. Nowadays, newly manufactured air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 13. If your air conditioner’s SEER rating is under 13, you can significantly reduce energy costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient unit.
- 3. You’re facing expensive repairs. Whenever that you’re facing an expensive repair costs, it’s time to compare the costs of the repair against the costs of a new unit. If maintenance and repairing costs would cover a large part of a new system, and especially if your AC unit is showing any of the other signs in this list, it will be more economical to replace it with a new model.
- 4. Frequent breakdowns. Does your air conditioner is constantly breaking down? These repair and maintenance costs can really add up, and it doesn’t make sense to keep making them on older units. Save yourself the headaches and the money by investing in a new unit.
- 5. Air conditioner uses R 22 Freon. Freon is being banned by the federal government to conserve energy nationwide. Consequently, the costs of Freon are rising exponentially. If your AC unit uses Freon, you’ll have to replace it in order to switch over to the new refrigerant (R410A). If you’re having serious problems with your air conditioner, especially if they involve the need for more Freon, it’s probably a good time to replace your unit.
- 6. Your home isn’t comfortable. Is it difficult to keep your home cool? This is maybe the sign of an aging air conditioner or even an incorrectly sized system. Regardless of the reason, you want your air conditioner to do its job! If your AC unit does not keep your home cool, you’ll want to replace it with a unit that will.