How long has it been since you thought about the age of your air conditioner? As the year's pass, it gets easy to forget that your home’s AC unit is aging, too – and will eventually become outdated or break down to the extent that you need a replacement.
Ideally, everyone should replace their AC unit at the right time, when it’s time to get a new model but before any serious problems start happening. But what does that look like? There are a few useful tricks you can use to judge whether it’s time to get a new air conditioner, so let’s go over them and what they mean!
Age can vary among HVAC units, and age is frequently affected by how often an AC unit is used and maintained. But generally speaking, AC units that are 12 to 15 years old are reaching the staging where it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. Replacing some components can help extend an air conditioner’s lifespan, but the unit will ultimately become too worn to work properly.
Age will also affect performance! Older AC units will be unable to cool down your home as effectively. Newer models, meanwhile, are built to be increasingly efficient, easy to operate, and streamlined so they can provide a significant boost in cooling compared to a 15-year old model – and you may end up saving money on energy bills, too.
The $5,000 Rule
The $5,000 rule is an easy equation that’s a very popular way of seeing if now is the time to replace a broken air conditioner. Simply take the air conditioner's age and multiply it by the cost of repairing the unit (a technician can give you the exact age and an estimate to work with). If the resulting cost is more than $5,000, then it’s definitely time to replace your unit before it starts costing more money than it’s worth.
Energy bills that seem to have risen higher in recent years or are a lot higher than what other homeowners you know seem to be paying are signs that your air conditioner may need to be replaced. If overall wear and tear affect your AC unit so much that you have to pay more each month to get the same results, that’s a poor situation.
Strangely high energy bills could also indicate that your air conditioner is the wrong size for your house, especially if you expanded your home since the AC was put in. It may be time for a unit that matches your home!
Finally, if you have an AC unit that uses an older or more restricted type of refrigerant, then a service technician may recommend replacing the unit instead of refilling it with the older – and often very expensive – refrigerant.
Does it look like it’s time for you to choose a new air conditioner? Would you like a professional inspection to help you decide? Contact Guaranteed Heating & Cooling today to make arrangements or ask any questions!