7 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
Air conditioning systems are among the bigger investments that we make in our homes. Since we spend so much money buying and maintaining them, we want to get the most out of our purchase. Unfortunately, even the most well maintained and clean system will have to be replaced at some point. On average air conditioning units last 10 to 15 years. Older or damaged HVAC systems are less efficient and can lead to increased energy bills or poor air quality.
Are you thinking that it might be time to have your air conditioner checked out? Maybe you don’t feel as cool as you used to and your electric bills are showing it. Perhaps you’ve bought a home with an older system and you’re not sure how it behaves. It might be time to consider a replacement. When you face these questions, try looking at the situation based on the factors below to help you determine if upgrading your unit is the best option.
1. Your air conditioner is over 10-years-old.
As discussed, air conditioning units can last 10-15 years but you can stretch a system to 20 years if it’s maintained regularly. However, as your unit ages, it begins to use more energy and will be significantly less effective at cooling. With the new technology and advancements in HVAC, systems are running as much as 30 percent more efficiently today than they were even 10 years ago. If you have an older unit that is still working, you still may have to consider upgrading.
2. Your energy bills are high.
Your car probably isn’t running as smooth and clean as it did when you first brought it home from the showroom, and the same goes for your air conditioning unit. Similarly, an air conditioner will also break down as it ages. As a result, an old air conditioner could lead to costly maintenance bills and use more energy to operate. This will inevitably cause your utility bills to increase. If you have seen an unexplained rise in your electric bill, an unruly air conditioning unit may be to blame. To avoid these unnecessary costs, it might be a good idea to upgrade your air conditioner before it completely breaks. With your energy usage and air conditioning usage directly related, you can try to compare electricity rates and plans to determine what might be a good fit for your household.
3. Your air conditioner has a low energy rating.
The most efficient units that are in use today have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) that is higher than 16. The average rating for units produced after 2006 is 13. Any system that has a SEER less than 13 is largely inefficient by HVAC standards today. If your unit has a SEER of less than 13 you should consider upgrading to save money on your energy bill and get the most out of your air conditioning system.
4. Your air conditioner is loud.
If your air conditioner sounds like a freight train, this might be a sign that you have a problem. A noisy unit could mean that you have an undersized duct system for the amount of air you are circulating. But if it’s especially loud whenever you have the air on, it could mean there is an issue with the indoor coil of your cooling system.
5. You have inconsistent room temperatures.
If you have different rooms with varying temperatures, this may be the result of the position of your home or anther duct issue. However, it could also mean that your air conditioner is having a hard time. You will have varying temperatures if your unit is having a problem producing enough cool air to distribute throughout your home. An HVAC specialist can help you identify the issue.
6. Your home is humid.
The big reason that you feel comfortable when your air is on is due to reduced humidity. The cool air helps to do this. When your air conditioner isn’t operating efficiently, it also isn’t dehumidifying as effectively. This could leave your home feeling clammy. Again an HVAC specialist can help you identify the problem and determine if a replacement is needed.
7. You don’t feel comfortable at home.
Most importantly, if your air conditioner isn’t improving the comfort in your home, something is wrong. If it doesn’t feel comfortable in your home there is a problem somewhere. From efficiency to airflow, if the air in your home is uncomfortable for you, then it’s time to get your air conditioner checked out. The good news is companies are always offering incentives and sales with the purchase and installation of a new air conditioning unit. If you are having problems with your air conditioner, now might be the time to upgrade.