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Essential Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your AC at Home

You’ve had your air conditioner for over a decade and, while it’s obviously taken on some wear and tear, it’s still getting the job done. That said, you know that air conditioners don’t last forever. So, you’re wondering: should you be thinking about an AC replacement?

There are several signs that indicate a need for an AC replacement. If you notice any of these signs, it might very well be time to replace your AC. So, without further ado, here’s how to know whether or not you should replace your HVAC system air conditioner.

1. Your Air Conditioner Is More Than 15 Years Old

A sure sign that it’s time to replace your air conditioner is that it’s more than 15 years old. Even if it’s still running well at this point, you would still be wise to replace it.

Why? Because, at this point, there are many more energy-efficient air conditioners on the market. Therefore, by replacing your existing air conditioner, you’ll be saving a good amount of money on cooling costs every month. 

Now, obviously, the choice is up to you. However, it’s certainly something to consider. And if your air conditioner has experienced any breakdowns over the past year, you’re strongly advised to make a change. 

2. Your Air Conditioner Keeps Breaking Down

Another sign that you should replace your air conditioner is that it keeps breaking down. This is particularly true if it’s experiencing the same problem every time. But even if it’s different problems that are causing the breakdowns, you should still consider making a replacement.

See, when breakdowns start occurring in close succession to one another, it’s due to a fundamental dysfunctionality within the AC system. Odds are, there’s another breakdown right around the corner.

Sure, you could keep spending money on repairs. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should just replace your entire AC system now. In doing so, you won’t have to spend money on repairs for years, thus saving you money in the long run. 

3. Your Energy Bills Are Higher Than They Used to Be

Your HVAC system comprises a large portion of your energy bill. When it starts to struggle, it uses even more energy in order to produce adequate temperatures. This, of course, results in more costly energy bills.

So, if you notice that your energy bills keep getting higher, there’s plenty of reason to suspect that your air conditioner is to blame. For this reason, when you first notice a spike in energy costs, you should have your AC inspected by a professional HVAC technician. They’ll determine whether there’s anything wrong with it; they’ll then make a repair or replacement based on what’s required. 

Note, your AC isn’t the only thing that might be causing a spike in your energy bill. As such, a spike in energy shouldn’t trigger an immediate AC replacement. It should just alert you that something might be awry. 

4. Your AC Is Making Loud Noises

Another sign that it might be time for an AC replacement is that your AC keeps making loud noises. These could be indicative of any number of problems, some of which can be fixed with a repair and some of which will require a full-on AC replacement.

For instance, you might hear a banging noise coming from your AC condenser. If so, there’s probably something trapped in the condenser and making contact with the condenser’s impeller. Depending on the condition of the impeller, this might require a repair or a replacement. 

You might also hear a squealing sound from your AC. This generally indicates a broken or loose belt. Depending on the age of your AC, this could trigger either a repair or a replacement.

What if you hear buzzing sounds? These could indicate a problem with the AC’s motor. If so, either the motor or the entire AC will have to be replaced. 

Other noises to listen for include rattling noises, grinding noises, or slamming noises. These often indicate a loose/damaged component. Depending on which component is damaged, it might trigger a full-on AC replacement. 

In any case, if you hear strange noises from your AC, you should bring in an HVAC company to assess them. They’ll determine what’s wrong and then figure out whether a repair or a replacement is the best course of action. 

5. Your AC Isn’t Producing Cold Air

This is a fairly obvious one: if your AC isn’t producing cold air, it isn’t doing its job. If it isn’t doing its job, you’ll need to either repair it or replace it. 

Now, what would cause an AC to not produce cold air? It could be having connectivity issues with its thermostat; it could have a refrigerant leak; its evaporator coils could be dirty or worn down as well. 

Depending on the age of your air conditioner and depending on the severity of the problem, a full-on AC replacement might be the best course of action. That said, you should have an HVAC technician check it out first to make sure. A repair might give it a few more years. 

6. Your AC Is Short Cycling

In some cases, an air conditioner will start to short cycle. In other words, it will run for a few seconds, turn off for a few seconds, and repeat that process over and over again. 

Now, you might be thinking: what difference does it make? My home is cool, right? It might be. However, short cycling puts tremendous undue stress on an AC, causing it to use much more energy than it would otherwise.

This means that you’re spending a lot more on air conditioning than you would be otherwise. By fixing the short cycling problem or by replacing your AC unit entirely, you would be saving yourself substantial amounts of money on energy. 

Have the problem assessed by a seasoned AC repair technician. They’ll determine what’s causing the problem and then make vital repairs or replacements.

7. Your Home Takes a Long Time to Cool

Generally speaking, when you make a thermostat change, your air conditioner should accommodate it within around 30 minutes. If it’s taking more than an hour for your AC to accommodate your thermostat changes, there’s likely something wrong with your AC. In particular, your AC isn’t producing enough airflow. 

Now, this could be due to blocked ducts. However, on the other hand, it could be due to a failing compressor. If it’s the latter, the only solution is to replace your AC in its entirety.

Regardless, you should first have the problem checked out by a pro HVAC repair technician. They’ll figure out what’s causing the problem and then use that information to make a determination on replacement vs repair. 

8. There Are Foul Smells Coming from Your AC

Another sign that it might be time for an AC replacement is that there are foul smells coming from your AC. Foul and unusual smells are, at the very least, indicative of something being wrong with an AC. They, at the very least, necessitate an inspection. 

Whereas moldy and musty smells are typically indicative of residue being trapped in the system’s ducts, electrical burning smells are usually indicative of a failing or damaged motor. The former can generally be fixed with a duct cleaning; the latter will require the replacement of parts or maybe even the replacement of the AC itself. 

Again, this is a situation where you should have the problem assessed by a pro HVAC technician. They’ll determine what’s causing the smell and then make all of the necessary fixes. 

9. You Don’t Trust Your AC 

The last sign that it’s time to replace your air conditioner is that you don’t trust it. In other words, you’re not sure whether it’s functional enough to get you through the coming hot season. 

This generally happens after several breakdowns have occurred. Or, it might be because your AC has been running roughly. Regardless, however, your lack of confidence in your AC is reason enough to trigger a replacement. 

A brand new air conditioner is not going to inspire this feeling in you. In fact, it will inspire the exact opposite. You’ll have peace of mind in the idea that your air conditioner is going to keep you cool when it’s required. 

Ready to Replace Your AC? 

Is your air conditioner showing signs of disrepair? Ready to replace your AC? If so, and if you’re in the Bay Area, we here at San Francisco Heating and Cooling are the people to see. 

We’ve replaced countless air conditioners throughout the Bay Area and will quickly and professionally replace yours as well. Regardless of the type of AC you need, we have you covered. 

Contact us today to replace your HVAC system! 

Sameh t
Author: Sameh t

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