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4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner requires regular maintenance to operate efficiently and properly cool your home. However, all air conditioners will eventually reach a point where they require replacement. The following telltale signs indicate it’s time to consult an HVAC technician about installing a new air conditioner.

1. Age of the Air Conditioner

Properly maintained air conditioners last between 15 and 20 years on average. The lifespan of your air conditioner can be influenced by factors such as outdoor climate and usage rate. For instance, air conditioners used in northern regions with shorter summers tend to last longer than those in areas with warmer climates year-round.

Apart from maintenance and climate, factors affecting the lifespan of your air conditioner include:

  • Proper installation
  • Air quality factors (such as the presence of salt or corrosive substances in the air)
  • Personal comfort settings within the home

If your air conditioner is over 10 years old and is encountering significant and recurring problems, it might be time to talk with an HVAC technician about replacing the unit with a newer, more energy-efficient model.

2. The $5,000 Rule

Some HVAC technicians suggest using the $5,000 rule: Multiply your air conditioner’s age by the repair cost. If the result exceeds $5,000, consider replacing the unit. If it’s below $5,000, repairing might suffice. For instance, if a 10-year-old unit needs a $400 repair (totaling $4,000), repairing could be viable. However, if the repair cost is $700 (totaling $7,000) it may be preferable to replace the appliance.

3. How Well Your Current AC Is Working

When deciding whether to replace your current air conditioner, assess its performance.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Does the temperature remain steady without significant fluctuations?
  • Are all rooms evenly cooled?
  • Are energy bills consistent, or do they show increased energy usage?
  • Does the air conditioner produce unusual noises when I turn it on?

Minor deteriorations in your air conditioner’s performance may go unnoticed over time. However, with regular maintenance, your HVAC technician can identify signs of aging that may require simple repairs or indicate more significant issues.

4. Frequency of Repairs

If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, it might be time for a replacement, especially if repair costs exceed half the price of a new unit. However, if repairs are infrequent and your air conditioner has a lot of its lifespan remaining, replacing it prematurely may not be wise, particularly if you’re satisfied with its performance and energy efficiency.

On the other hand, if you’re facing frequent breakdowns, have found a good deal on a new unit, and desire improved efficiency, it could be the right time to upgrade. As an added bonus, a new air conditioner may enhance your home’s resale value and appeal to potential buyers.

Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner is a mixture of science and art. If you can find that balance, you’ll be able to get the most out of your existing air conditioner while ensuring that you’re not spending a ton of money repairing a unit that’s just going to need to be repaired again. Contact us today to learn more about air conditioning replacement and repair by Clinton Township, Michigan’s HVAC experts at North Wind Heating & Air Conditioning!