Is It Time for a New Air Conditioner? 6 Signs to Look For

Your air conditioner has worked flawlessly for the time you’ve had it, but it’s starting to show its age. Now you’re wondering if you should hold on to your A/C unit for a little while longer or finally invest in a new replacement. Pay attention to the following signs as you make your decision.

1. Old Age

Air conditioners aren’t meant to last forever. The average air conditioner has a life expectancy of around 15 to 20 years, depending on how well it’s maintained throughout its life. The older an air conditioner gets, the less able it is to operate efficiently due to cumulative wear and tear.

When an air conditioner exceeds its projected life span, breakdowns can become more frequent and more expensive to repair. If the cost of repairing your A/C unit exceeds that of installing a brand-new unit, then consider purchasing a new air conditioner instead.

2. Poor Cooling Performance

A surefire sign that your air conditioner isn’t long for this world is when it stops cooling your home effectively. You’ll notice certain rooms in your home stay warmer than the rest, even when your A/C unit’s running at full blast. You may even notice tepid or barely cool air coming from the vents regardless of your thermostat’s settings.

Your air conditioner’s cooling performance can degrade as your unit ages. Consider replacing your air conditioner if it suffers from performance issues that can’t be resolved through maintenance or repairs.

3. Weak Airflow

Your air conditioner cools properly, but you can only feel a weak breeze from the A/C vents. Weak airflow is another sign that your air conditioner may be on its last legs. In most cases, the cause can be traced back to a failing blower fan motor, damaged fan blades, or a voltage or relay issue. Depending on the cause, it may be more economical to replace the A/C unit itself rather than replace the problem component.

Before you replace your air conditioner, hire a specialist to conduct a thorough inspection of your ductwork. Damaged or improperly installed ducts can also lead to weak air flow. Clean the ductwork if it’s lined with accumulated dust and debris.

4. Short-Cycling Issues

Short cycling happens when your air conditioner’s compressor kicks in for a very short period, only to shut down and restart shortly afterward. The continuous stop/start action places extreme wear and tear on the compressor. Constant short cycling also robs your air conditioner of its ability to cool your home properly.

Several different issues can trigger short cycling, but the problem may also be due to an aging or oversized A/C system. In both cases, you should replace your A/C unit with one that’s appropriately sized for your home.

5. Refrigerant Leaks

Your air conditioner’s coils and refrigerant lines can experience corrosion due to old age or exposure to corrosive elements. This corrosion usually results in pinhole leaks that allow refrigerant and lubricating oil to escape. Refrigerant leaks can severely impact air conditioning performance and eventually cause system failure if left unchecked.

If your A/C unit’s condenser or evaporator coil is severely corroded, replace the entire unit immediately.

6. Rising Utility Bills

If your utility bills have steadily increased throughout the cooling season, then chances are your air conditioner is to blame. A typical air conditioner’s energy consumption increases as it ages, usually due to wear and tear on various components. The more worn those components are, the more energy your A/C unit will need to accomplish ordinary cooling tasks.

It may be time to replace your air conditioner if you spot any of the above signs. The experts at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric can help you choose and install the best air conditioner for your home’s cooling needs. Give us a call or contact us through our online form today.