You need to be aware of how long the air conditioner unit in your home is, so you know when to replace it. Most modern AC units are designed to last between 15 and 20 years. Once your AC hits the 15-year mark, you need to start looking into purchasing a new air conditioner. At that point, it will be more cost-effective to invest in a replacement than to constantly repair the unit you have.
- Inefficient Cooling
As the years go on, certain components will not work properly. The mechanical and electrical parts will begin to wear down, and the coils, compressor and fans will begin to deteriorate. This results in your home not feeling as cool as it used to. Additionally, the AC unit needs to work harder to try to cool a room. As a result, you can expect higher electricity bills every month until you handle the problem.
- Freon Leaks
Some AC repairs are quite affordable. However, if you need to address a Freon leak, then you can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 to repair it. At that point, it will work in your best interest to simply replace the unit, which is most likely already quite old.
- Ice Build-Up
You can expect to find ice building up on the coils when it is extremely hot outside. This is due to the greater demand for electricity. Most of the time, this is a result of dirty air filters, which prevents air from adequately circulating. Once you start seeing ice, you need to address the problem, which could be a failing condenser, a broken fan or a Freon leak.
- Electrical Failures
You need to have inspections throughout your home often to make sure the electrical system is still working the way it is supposed to. Common issues with older AC systems are often related to the wiring going on the fritz. Some of the electrical problems you can expect include tripped circuit breaks and failing capacitors. This issue needs to be addressed immediately because a problem with the electricity can result in a fire.
- Bad Indoor Air Quality
You should clean your AC unit once every few months to prevent mold and mildew from accumulating. If you fail to clean, then those substances can blow out of the AC and into your home. This can cause all kinds of respiratory problems for people in your family. Even if you prevent mold from building up, you still want a thorough cleaning once every two years to get rid of pet fur, dander and dust.
Routine maintenance can greatly extend the lifespan of your AC unit. However, even if you clean it regularly and replace all broken parts as soon as they become apparent, you still need to know when it is time for a new AC. Although repairs generally cost less than replacement, they can add up quickly if you constantly need to hire a professional to repair your unit. For repairs or replacement, make sure you hire a professional to inspect your unit and to handle the job.