As a homeowner, one of the hardest questions you will ever ask yourself is “do I repair, or replace my AC?” While it might seem thrifty to repair your system, the more economical decision is often to replace.
Most families do not have the expertise of answering the big question, should they repair or replace? Replacing your HVAC unit is an investment, so it’s good to educate yourself on when to replace your HVAC system.
11 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System
Air conditioning units often show symptoms of wearing down. If your HVAC system is exhibiting any of the following signs, call in a technician now. Don’t wait till the next heat wave.
If you have any of the following problems with your unit, call Climate Design to learn if it’s time to upgrade your system.
1. Your AC Is Not Cooling Properly
The most obvious sign that your AC unit is in trouble is that it fails to cool the house to the set temperature. This could be the result of a number of problems, from the compressor to the thermostat. A technician can diagnose and solve the problem.
2. It’s Making Unusual Noises
A proper AC unit will have a familiar purr that tells you it is functioning. If the unit starts to squeak, you may have trouble with one of the belts. Rattles can indicate loose parts. It’s important to attend to problems before they get worse or cause further damage inside the unit.
Related Article: 11 Air Conditioning Noises You Never Want to Hear & What They Mean
3. Your Energy Bills Are Getting High
If you get a sudden spike in a utility bill, something is amiss. If the AC unit is working too hard, it will use a lot more electricity. It might be time to replace it.
As of January 26, 2006, a new standard went into effect that requires air conditioning units to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 13 or higher. The higher the rating, the more efficient your AC system is, and the lower your utility bills will be.
4. It’s Leaking Water
Check for your AC leaking water at the beginning of the summer. There should never be puddles of water around a central air conditioning unit. If there are, have the problem diagnosed or consider replacing the unit.
5. The Coils Keep Freezing
Frozen coils are a common problem. If the unit or pipes have formed a block of ice, the ice will block circulation. You can unplug the unit and let it thaw. If the problem repeatedly happens, though, get it checked out.
6. Your AC Unit is Older Than 10 Years Old
An air conditioner can become less efficient gradually as it ages. You may not notice that it’s cooling the house less now than it did before. If your AC system is older than 10 years old, think about replacing it. A newer unit will be more energy efficient and will save you money.
Some technicians use the “5,000” rule, a simple yet effective formula that can give a general idea of when you might need to replace your unit. If the cost of the repair multiplied by the age of the unit is greater than 5000, it’s probably time to replace.
For example, if you have a $350 repair and 10 year old unit, that’s 3500, so you should be ok with just the repair. If the result is $5000 or more, then it is probably a good indication it’s time to replace it.
While you might be able to fix your system temporarily, it will not last much longer, and the money you pay to keep your old system working could be going towards a newer and more efficient unit. If you are facing a costly repair and your system is more than 10 years old, it might be time to consider a new AC unit.
7. Weak Airflow
You may notice that the unit is moving less air or that the air is moving less forcefully. This may be due to a dirty air filter that needs to be replaced or a loose belt. Regular servicing will avoid this situation. At worst, it could mean your ac unit is ready to be replaced.
8. You Need Constant Expensive AC Repairs
There comes a point when your AC is just no longer worth fixing. If you’ve recently had major problems with your air conditioner, and were shocked to see how expensive it would be to fix, it might be time to think about a new system. A newer AC may be cheaper than fixing your old system and will last you longer than your old air conditioner. Plus a new system can save you money on your electricity bill. If the cost of repairs is 50 percent or higher than the cost of a new AC system, then it is a wise investment to upgrade.
Multiple charges of R-22 (Freon refrigerant) indicates a coolant leak. Topping off a system with R-22 can be sometimes become costly. Total costs for a leak repair and several pounds of Freon begin to tug at your wallet. Also, the costs of refrigerant have recently skyrocketed recently due to the EPA’s eventual phase-out of R-22 by the year 2020. A new more environmentally friendly R-410 will be replacing R-22.
9. It Uses R-22 Freon
AC systems made before 2010 uses R-22 Freon, now known to be dangerous. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started the process of phasing out Freon from air conditioning units. These Government restrictions on R-22 freon mean that the price of the cooling agent is much higher than the refrigerant that newer systems require.
If you have issues with your current AC and it uses Freon, it is probably worth going ahead and switching over to a unit that uses refrigerant.
10. Your AC’s SEER Rating is Below 13
A SEER rating lower than 13 means that the energy efficiency of your AC system is much less than what a new system with a higher SEER rating could provide.
The EPA regulates the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating of air conditioners, and it is illegal for manufacturers to produce units with a SEER rating below 13.
If you have an older system, it could rate as low as a 6! This is not only environmental hazardous but will cost you more money on your energy bill each month.
11. Your AC Fails to Keeps Your Home Comfortable
A home that is not comfortable is no home at all. If your system never seems to get you to that comfy place, it will be worth it to buy a new AC.
This is possibly the number one sign it’s time to replace your unit. When you no longer feel comfortable in your own home, you know it is time to say goodbye to your outdated AC.
Many times, it is one of the first signs your AC is on its way out; when no matter what you set your thermostat to, your home is never cool enough. Yet somehow you still face huge utility bills each month. If your AC isn’t doing the job anymore, it’s probably time to move on.
Contact Climate Design for a Free Estimate on a New HVAC System
There is no need to suffer because of an inefficient air conditioner. At Climate Design, we strive to make your purchase and installation are as seamless as possible. Our heating and air conditioning team will arrive early and ensure that all furniture and other important assets are protected so that we leave your home in pristine condition upon completion.
Contact Climate Design today and discover how we can help keep you cool.
Call (888) 572-7245 to Schedule Your Appointment