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When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
March 3, 2014
Knowing when it is time to replace heating and air conditioning equipment is essential for comfort and energy efficiency at home. Air conditioners are a nice feature in some places and absolute essentials in other climates. Regardless on how heavily you rely on your air conditioning unit in the summer, they are equipment and equipment breaks down over time. There are few easy ways to determine if your air conditioning unit is in need of replacement. If you feel that your a/c is on it’s last legs, consider making an upgrade–you’ll likely save in energy costs and cool your home more efficiently.
Evaluate the Unit’s Efficiency
The biggest and most obvious sign that your air conditioner needs replacing lies in it’s efficiency. One of the best ways to assess your air conditioner is to look at your home’s energy consumption and consider the age of your a/c. An air conditioning unit that is even 7 or 8 years old can consume double the amount of energy a new air conditioner can. If your home’s energy bills are higher than average during the summer months, your a/c unit may be partially responsible. Air conditioners that are over 10 years old are probably failing and need to be replaced. If there is a noticeable decline in the cooling power or a spike in energy consumption each month, the a/c is inefficient and you may have additional problems.
Watch Out for Frequent Repairs
If you find yourself calling an HVAC specialist on a regular basis for air conditioner repairs, you may need to start thinking about replacement. What’s more, if these repairs are getting expensive, you are probably better off replacing the unit entirely. The upfront costs of a new a/c can be a burden, but you will save money in the long term by avoiding ongoing repairs. Make sure you address poor insulation or problems with duct work before scrapping the unit since these issues can cause problems with the operation and efficiency of the unit.
Pay Attention to Temperature Variations
If you notice that there are large temperature variations in your home while running the air conditioner, you may have a problem with the insulation or ductwork, or the unit may be failing. Some rooms in the house may be cool while others can’t retain cool air. The unit may be malfunctioning, but it is always good to eliminate the possibility that you may have problems with ductwork or insulation for retaining cold before replacing the unit. In these circumstances, repair is always an option, but depending on the age of the unit, you may save in repair and maintenance costs by just buying a new unit.