Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner
With spring upon us and summer just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your air conditioning unit is ready to battle the heat. After years of keeping you comfortable, you’ll notice that your air conditioner will begin to “lose its cool” over time. As the warm weather approaches, you’ll need to make the decision to either put money into repairing your current unit, or to buy a new one.
But how do you decide?
At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re here to help! Here are 5 signs that you need a new air conditioner:
1) Your current AC unit is 10+ years old
According to the National Association of Home Builders study on the life expectancy for home components, most home air conditioning units are only efficient for 10-15 years at the most. After that, they begin to require more repair than they are worth. If your unit is approaching its 10th year or greater, it’s probably time to be replaced.
2) Your energy bill is going up, but so is the temperature in your house
You have no use for an air conditioner that doesn’t do its job! This could happen if your air conditioner is too small for your living space and is being overworked. Older ACs will also consume a lot of power without doing a lot of cooling, simply because its parts no longer work like they did when they were new. Either way, an inefficient AC unit becomes a burden to your finances instead of a comfort to your home.
You can measure whether or not your current AC is doing its job by monitoring the humidity level in your home. Any indoor humidity level above 40% could indicate your AC is not working properly. Not only does high humidity lead to discomfort, it also can lead to problems with mold. It isn’t worth paying a high energy bill for no benefit. If you’re not getting the comfort you’re paying for, it means your AC unit is ready to be retired and replaced with a new, more efficient one that will be the right size for your home.
3) Your current AC’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is below 13
Your unit’s SEER is a ratio: cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it consumes in Watt-hours. Basically, it is a ratio describing how much energy the unit is using to cool your home. Higher SEER ratings mean better efficiency. As technology has improved, AC units have become more efficient. If your older unit has a SEER rating lower than 13, you’re probably paying too much on your energy bill. Time to replace your air conditioner!
4) Your AC uses R22 Freon
Since being linked to environmental harm, the U.S. government has been phasing out its use in appliances, with a goal to have it completely gone by the year 2020. This means it is currently much more expensive to replace or repair parts in freon-using appliances and will soon be near impossible. It would be wise to replace your freon-using AC with a unit that can be repaired later for less money, and with a more positive effect on the environment.
5) Frequent breakdowns
If your AC unit is breaking all the time, even after multiple repairs, you’re probably putting more money into it than it’s worth. This one is a no-brainer. If it doesn’t work, it’s time to replace it.