Watch for These 4 Signs It’s Time for AC Replacement

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There is no appliance or piece of equipment that will last forever, no matter how well it is cared for. That is just a simple fact of life. Your household air conditioner is no exception. It has a limited lifespan, and as it approaches the end of that lifespan, it’s a good idea to have it replaced before it suffers from a complete breakdown. You don’t want to end up trapped on a hot day (since this is the most likely time for system stress to cause a failure) with no relief from those summer temperatures.

Instead of scrambling to schedule an air conditioning installation when that happens, it’s wise to know now what the signs are of a struggling system, so that you can be proactive and have the system replaced at your convenience. (P.S. If your system looks like the one pictured here, please call us for a replacement ASAP!)

We don’t encourage to you try to diagnose air conditioner problems on your own, but we do encourage you to give our staff a call once you suspect that something is amiss. In the meantime, read on for 4 examples of what constitutes a failing air conditioner.

Old Age

We’re going to start here since many homeowners don’t really consider that simple age has a lot to do with when you should replace your cooling system. The manufacturer of your specific air conditioner sets a service life estimate for it—this is usually the period covered by the warranty.

But generally speaking, a central air conditioning system that undergoes routine maintenance and professional services should last about 10-15 years. Anything approaching 20 years should absolutely be considered for replacement, as it cannot possibly be performing as efficiently as it did when it was brand new!

Noisy Operation

One of the goals in modern cooling system manufacturing is the develop AC systems that operate as quietly as possible. Therefore, if you start to notice noise coming from your cooling system that you’ve never heard before, it’s a safe bet that something is wrong.

One peculiar noise here or there can probably be fixed with a simple repair call. However, general and consistent grinding and clanging most likely means your system is wearing down, and that it’s time for a new system.

Rising Utility Bills

An air conditioning system that receives routine annual maintenance (or biannual maintenance, if we’re talking about a heat pump system, by the way), should be able to retain 95% of its energy efficiency rating throughout its service life.

When it nears the end of that service life, however, the efficiency level drops, and as a result utility bills in the summer months will rise. Take a look at your cooling costs over the last few years. Do you notice a steady upward trend? Then you may very well have a failing air conditioner.

Repair Costs Are Too High

It’s pretty rare that an air conditioner will escape repair needs throughout its service life. However, there comes a point where an air conditioner requires repairs that are costly enough to make it no longer worthwhile to keep the system. The issues will keep happening, and a full system breakdown becomes more and more likely.

A general rule is that if your next repair is going to cost you half of what your system is even worth, then it’s probably more economically feasible to upgrade the system by replacing it with a newer AC.

Get peace of mind by calling Bell Plumbing and Heating, the company metro area homeowners have been trusting for over 90 years!

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