When Should You Replace Your AC?

Your central air conditioner has been chugging along, but now that it's getting older you may be concerned about its eventual replacement. The average lifespan of a central AC unit varies greatly. The best way to determine if it's time for a replacement is to know the key signs that a new unit is more cost-effective than keeping the old.

Energy Concerns

It's no secret that newer AC units are more energy efficient than their older counterparts. Efficiency technology is constantly evolving and improving. The US Department of Energy advises that replacing the unit after 10 years can save 20 to 40 percent on your energy bills.

Before rushing out to replace an old unit that otherwise works perfectly, make sure the energy savings are worth it. Check the Energy Star ratings on the old unit and compare them to the ratings available today. In some cases, you may have a highly rated older unit that still competes well with the mid-range units of today.

Frequent Repair Issues

All central AC units require annual maintenance and the infrequent repair. This only becomes a problem if your unit is requiring frequent repairs. If you need to call out the repair technician more than once each summer, it's time to start considering replacement. In the long run, the investment in a new unit will save you the costs of the frequent repair bills.

Poor Performance

Your AC is running and it kicks on and off when it's supposed to. Still, some rooms seem warm while others are just right. This is a sign that your older AC unit is no longer up to its previous performance standards. If the unit is struggling to cool, chances are a hefty repair is imminent, because the stress on the unit is going to result in a problem. Your energy bills are also likely suffering as a result of the poor cooling.

Home Upgrades

One overlooked issue with an AC unit is the sizing. If you've remodeled your home majorly, your old unit may not be sized correctly anymore. Opening up rooms, new additions, and changing air flow patterns can all affect the size of the unit you need. A unit that isn't sized correctly is more prone to breakdowns and poor performance.

An investment in a new air conditioner unit now can result in savings and more comfort later. Meet with a local HVAC professional if you aren't sure if an upgrade is the right choice for your situation.