3 Key Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Air Conditioner
The Department of Energy estimates that 3/4 of households in the US have air conditioners. According to the same report, it costs US homeowners more than $29 billion every year to run an AC unit. Want to extend the lifespan of your old air conditioner unit?
There are several steps homeowners can take. First, clean and unclog a dirty air filter. If a replacement is needed, buy the right filter and replace it. Next, clean the coils and evaporator. This improves heating and cooling in your home. Last but not least, hire a professional HVAC contractor.
Not only are they licensed to make repairs on all AC brands but they will recommend high-quality parts to buy. Also, they will help to craft an annual preventative maintenance plan. Despite the best preventative maintenance measures, your AC unit will age.
How do you know it’s time to replace your old AC? In this article, we discuss the 3 key signs it’s time to replace your old air conditioner.
AC Unit Is 15 to 20 Years Old
A well maintained AC unit should last 15 to 20 years. If your old air conditioner has served you for more than 15 years, it’s time to replace the unit. Failure to do so will result in the following:
- Increased energy costs
- Reduced system performance
Want to continue enjoying the best performance from your AC unit?
Start by replacing the outdoor unit with a modern one. A modern unit is designed with energy efficiency in mind. To find the best, consult your local HVAC expert. If you shop for the AC unit, you may end up buying a small or too large unit.
Modern HVAC systems use 30% to 50% less energy compared to models manufactured in the 1970s, and 1980s. By replacing an old AC unit, you can save more than 50% on your energy costs.
When buying an AC unit, check the seasonal energy efficiency ratio and Energy Star labels.
AC Unit Is Using R-22 Refrigerant
If your unit was installed before 2010, then it’s using the R22 refrigerant. Also referred to as Freon, R22 is a chemical that keeps cool air flowing into your home. Introduced in the 1950s, R22 was one of the leading refrigerants for AC systems.
Today, home AC units using R22 are being phased out. Why? Freon is an HCFC which means if it accidentally leaks into the air, it depletes the ozone layer.
In 2010, the EPA identified R22 as an environmental risk since it contains chlorine. As part of the Montreal Protocol, all AC units using R22 need to be phased out. Any company found using R22 refrigerant after 2020 will face heavy fines.
If your AC unit is still using the R22 and it’s more than 10 years old, this is a sign that you should replace the unit. Reach out to your local HVAC expert for AC replacement that meets your needs.
AC Repair Costs Are High
Have your AC unit repair costs increased and yet your use has not changed? That is a clear indication you need to replace your AC unit. Some of the reasons why your unit is in need of repairs is due to wear and tear of the parts. This is attributed to the use of the unit over the past decade or more.
Internal parts that increase AC unit cost of repairs include:
- Condenser coils
If you discover that you are spending more to repair these parts, replacing your old air conditioner is the best option. A new AC unit eliminates costly repairs.
Replacing Your Old Air Conditioner
Most units that are 5 years old or less are still under warranty. As such, replacing the parts is affordable. If you have an old air conditioner unit, pouring money to repair parts is not the best course of action. The smart decision is to replace your old AC unit with a new AC unit.
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