Constantly worrying whether your AC will survive the season can put a damper on your summer. But an air conditioner can only be pushed so far. Assuming you’ve kept up with maintenance and had minor repairs when needed, the unit may last 10 or 15 years. By this point, AC replacement may be the only option left, but to aid this often-stressful decision, here are 10 signs it’s near the end of its life:
1. Your Home Won’t Get Cool
Cool air should be blowing a few minutes after turning the AC on. If only warm air is blowing, this is a terrible thing on a sweltering day. It’s often a sign that a major component, such as the compressor, has failed. The repair cost may justify replacing the system with something more energy-efficient.
2. Airflow Is Limited
If the airflow is weak, conditioned air may not circulate properly. Compressor failure is a possible cause. A technician can look for other possible reasons such as blocked ducts or vents, motor damage, or an electrical issue. In any case, an AC relies on airflow to do its job, so the absence of a draft from vents is serious.
3. Condensation on Your AC
All air conditioners create some moisture. But if you notice excessive condensation, you have an equipment problem, or the water is not draining. A refrigerant leak is a serious situation that must be addressed promptly. Even if it’s just water building up, it can damage the air conditioner or cause mold to grow and pose a health risk in your home.
4. The Unit Is Very Noisy
By now, you should know the normal sound your AC makes. Contact a repair tech if it starts chattering or making squealing, squeaking, grinding, or scraping sounds. While this can mean a belt may need tightening or parts may need lubrication, loud noise is often a sign an old AC is failing.
5. Noxious Odors
Air conditioners are designed to cool as well as filter the air. If it smells like something is burning, there may be a wiring problem in the unit. Musty odors typically point to mold in the unit or somewhere in the ductwork. Mold can release toxins that cause sickness, so it’s important for the problem to be diagnosed and fixed right away, even if it means AC replacement.
6. Increased Humidity Levels
Air conditioners help remove humidity from indoor air. This is a vital function because the evaporator coil extracts warm air and cools it. Water drips outside from an AC as a result. If the system is aging, your home may feel sticky, moisture may collect around vents or ducts, and windows may become foggy.
7. Your AC Has One Problem After Another
Once an air conditioner has been repaired and inspected, it should not break down for a while. If you’re spending money on frequent repairs, you’ll only need more. Replacing the system will save you money over the long term.
8. The Thermostat Doesn’t Work
The interaction between your thermostat and AC system relies on complex electrical components. These allow for constant measurements, communication, and control over cooling and heating. If your HVAC system isn’t running as well as it once did, the thermostat may not be able to tell if it’s operating or not, causing it to turn off or run only for brief periods.
9. The Electric Bill Keeps Going Up
If you haven’t used your AC more, and the electric company hasn’t raised its prices, your bill shouldn’t change much from month to month. Call a technician if it suddenly increases. While leaky ductwork can be a cause, the age of your air conditioner may be a factor.
10. Your AC Has Reached Old Age
Most air conditioners don’t last much longer than a decade. Start looking for a new one once the AC reaches age 10. Seriously consider a replacement if your home is less comfortable and you notice any of the signs above. Instead of spending on major repairs, consider investing in a newer, cryptomixer more efficient system that won’t likely need repairs anytime soon.
Over the Moon Will Replace Your Air Conditioner
Based in Oconomowoc, WI, Over the Moon helps customers across the region decide whether to repair or replace their air conditioners. We’ll help you determine when AC replacement is the best option. A lot of new AC units are available, including split systems and mini splits that don’t require ductwork. For assistance, schedule service online or call 262-240-6397.