7 Ways to Determine if Your AC System Needs to be Replaced
Is your AC system on its last leg?
As a wise homeowner, you understand that an air conditioning system has a limited lifespan—they just wear out over time. Your AC System is an important safety and comfort feature. Replacement cost is a concern and making sure you have adequate funds to replace the system when the time comes requires planning.
The average system lifespan is 15 to 20 years, and if your system is within that range, you should be expecting to replace the system in the near future. Your frugal side wants to wait as long as is feasible. Are there any warning signs to help you know when it is time? Consider these indications:
- Watch your energy bills. The first indication of a weakening AC System is a higher energy bill during the summer months. As components wear, they lose efficiency. To compensate, someone bumps the thermostat down to maintain the comfort level you are used to, and the result is a higher cooling bill.
Do some research to compare cooling season electric bills for the last three years. A failing system will be reflected in higher energy use/higher cost.
- Increase repair costs. Related to the energy bill might be more frequent repair bills. Compare bills beyond preventative maintenance. If your AC requires an annual repair, this is an indication the end is near.
- Nonstop cycle. Your AC system should cycle 2 or 3 times per hour, perhaps 4 times in extreme weather. It should not run all the time. Long, continuous cycles, or the blower putting out warm air, require a technician visit and make repairs. If the AC System is on more than it is off, it is sending you a message.
- Excess noise. AC systems make some noise, and the loudest noise should be the sound of moving air from the blower. If your AC is squeaking, rattling, or making loud mechanical noises, this is not normal and should prompt a visit from your HVAC technician.
Often ductwork will contract or grow slightly smaller during the blower cycle and expand during the “off” cycle—it is not uncommon to hear metallic pops.
- Difficulty starting. If your AC has trouble beginning a cooling cycle or doesn’t start at all it is time to call your HVAC technician. If you bump the temperature down at the thermostat, this should trigger the switch to turn the system on.
If you experience this, your system might need some repairs and it might need to be replaced.
- Frequent breaker trouble. One reason a circuit breaker might trip is when something requires too much electric load. If your AC system is tripping a circuit breaker frequently it generally indicates the compressor is failing, since the compressor draws the most electricity.
AC compressors can be expensive, and the fix might require more than a repair. If your air conditioning system trips the circuit breaker repeatedly it can indicate that the compressor is dying and that it’s time to start looking at new systems for your home.
Think Your AC System Is Ready for Replacement?
To help you make the best decision, we’re happy to evaluate the equipment to determine if you need repairs or if you need to replace your AC system. Give us a call today.