Labor Day has come and gone. Football season is underway, and summer in Phoenix is starting (hopefully) to wind down. For many Arizona residents, saying so long to summer and hello to cooler temperatures is a welcome yearly ritual. However, if your air conditioner delivered substandard service this summer, or required multiple service calls, it might be wise to consider your options now rather than wait for a serious breakdown to occur next summer. Air conditioners give certain warning signs when their useful service life is coming to an end. The process of choosing a new AC unit can take some time. Fall is the perfect season to plan an installation. The temperatures are cooler, and with a new HVAC system, you’ll be ready for winter and next summer as well.
How Will I Know When It’s Time to Replace?
There’s no doubt, replacing your AC system is a significant expense. Making repairs to an older unit to squeeze another year or two of service out of it may make sense. It all depends on how much you are spending overall. Remember, there’s the cost of parts and repairs to consider as well as monthly utility bills. Older air conditioners tend to be inefficient and use more electricity. When weighing the benefits of repair or replace, keep in mind the savings you’ll enjoy with a new energy-efficient AC unit.
Here’s a list of five signs that it might be time to consider a new AC system:
1. Constant Breakdowns/Expensive Repairs
The number one sign your AC unit needs to be replaced is if you experienced numerous breakdowns this summer, and your air conditioner was unable to get the job done. Nothing is more frustrating than having to go without air conditioning in the middle of summer in Phoenix while your AC unit is being fixed. Just like an old car with a lot of miles on it., sometimes, one repair can lead to another. The trick is to stop investing money into an old unit that will soon need to be replaced anyhow.
2. Your Air Conditioner Is Old and Approaching Retirement Age
Many AC units can last 10, 12 or even 15 years in other parts of the U.S. where summer typically lasts three months. However, here in the hottest city in America, AC units get heavy usage for up to six months out of the year. If your air conditioner is over eight years old and experiencing breakdowns, it’s time to have an entire system evaluation to assess which major parts will need to be replaced in the next year or two. If your current and anticipated repairs add up to more than a third of a new unit, you may want to forego the thousands in repair and instead, invest in a new, more efficient system.
3. Monthly Energy Bills Keep Getting Higher
Older air conditioners are simply not as efficient as today’s energy star units. If the SEER rating on your air conditioner is 13 or lower, you will notice a big difference in your monthly energy bill once you upgrade to a newer air conditioner. The SEER rating measures energy efficiency, similar to the MPG for a car. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy savings you’ll reap.
4. Loud Noises, Straining Sounds Upon Startup
If your air conditioner is making strange noises or extreme screeching sounds when it starts up, it’s definitely time for service and might be time to consider your options. Believe it or not, different sounds relate to various AC ailments. Our friendly HVAC service techs can decipher what your AC unit is trying to tell you. Some homeowners shrug their shoulders and just learn to live with the thumping, whining, humming or screeching. That’s an invitation to a breakdown.
5. Constantly Replacing Refrigerant
Older AC units utilize Freon or R-22 which is unfriendly to our environment and is being phased out by the EPA. If your air conditioner is constantly losing refrigerant, it means there are leaks in the system. Sure, you can have the leaks repaired. However, at a certain point, on older units, tiny leaks due to rust and corrosion will overwhelm the efficiency of the unit and you may be better off with a new air conditioner.
A New Air Conditioner Will Give You Peace of Mind
One thing that is hard to quantify is the peace of mind. Homeowners with a failing AC unit always tell us they live in fear that the unit will go out at the worst possible time (like a holiday weekend when it’s difficult to get service.) If you’ve had a rough summer due to an AC unit that needs to be replaced, give us a call so we can do a full evaluation of your system and present you with options for a cool, energy-efficient, brand new unit. Kiss those AC worries goodbye!