Thanks to extreme temperatures, summer is the peak season for replacing air conditioning units. Unfortunately, as demand spikes, so do prices.
But don’t worry–your AC might not need replacing just yet. Depending on the situation, it might actually be worth applying a temporary fix in late summer so you can buy a new system during the off season (fall through spring) when AC units are less expensive.
Before you decide if your AC needs replacing, though, here are seven questions you should be asking yourself.
Is your AC old?
No matter how consistent you’ve been with HVAC maintenance, the average life expectancy for an AC unit is about 10-15 years. If your unit is within this age-bracket, then it may be time to consider investing in a replacement.
Still, if your old AC isn’t giving you any problems, it might be smart to wait until the off season to buy a new system. Conversely, if your air conditioning unit is old and it’s giving you any of the problems listed below, you might need an immediate replacement.
Have your monthly energy bills spiked?
One of the first signs of an old or degrading air conditioner is inefficiency. If you’ve noticed that you’re paying much more for your energy bill than you’re used to paying at this time of year, it’s probably a sign that your AC is giving out. In general, older air conditioners have to work much harder to cool your home, meaning they use a lot more energy–and cost a lot more money.
Of course, this may also be a sign of poor insulation in your home which could be caused by many different factors. It’s best to schedule an inspection first before you make the leap and buy a new system.
Are temperatures uneven throughout the house?
Have you noticed various hot spots around your home? Not only do aging ACs have to work harder, but they also have issues keeping temperatures even.
It’s important to note that this issue could just be caused by an improperly sized AC unit, or by disintegrating ductwork. However, disintegrating ductwork is another sign of an aging AC, so while you can call a professional to come out and fix the ductwork, you may still need to replace the AC unit eventually.
Is your AC noisier than normal?
It’s common for most AC units to make some kind of noise when they kick on. But other noises can indicate serious issues. If you’re hearing sounds like squealing, grinding, scraping, or frequent loud pops and bangs, then you need to schedule an appointment with a professional as soon as possible. Your HVAC technician will be able to tell you if you need AC repairs or a full replacement.
Have you already made expensive AC repairs in recent years?
If your AC unit is still giving you problems after you’ve already replaced expensive key components, it might be more cost effective to simply replace it. This is especially true if your system is over that 10-year mark. If your AC is still under warranty, though, ask your HVAC specialist about what they can do for you in this situation.
Are you seeing signs of poor air quality in your home?
If you have people living in your home who have had frequent bouts of allergies or asthma, your air quality might be partially to blame. Old and disintegrating AC units often have problems with ventilation, meaning they are more likely to blow dust and pollen throughout your home.
Again, you want to take the age of the unit into consideration before you replace your AC based on this one factor. Check out our other blog for tips on how to check your indoor air quality.
Do you feel less air coming out of your vents?
When you stand underneath one of your air vents while the AC is running, you should feel a rush of cold air. If you don’t, it’s a sign of weak airflow. This usually means that your AC’s compressor isn’t working properly.
You may just need a replacement compressor, or to have a professional remove any blockages that may be causing the weak airflow. However, failing compressors are often another symptom of an old AC unit that needs replacing.
Trust The Experts at Titan Heating & Cooling
If after asking yourself these questions you’re still unsure about what to do, trust the experts at Titan Heating & Cooling for all your air conditioning services. Our experienced staff will be able to tell you if you can afford a temporary repair until the off-season, or if you need a replacement unit right away. Titan also offers competitive financing options if you end up needing a new system. Contact us or give us a call at (651) 714-8931 to speak with one of our skilled HVAC technicians today!