Even with regular maintenance, you’ll eventually have to replace your air conditioner because of a breakdown or just normal wear and tear. You could be tempted to pay a small repair bill instead of spending thousands on a new air conditioner, but keeping your old unit may actually cost more over time. An aging air conditioner also can’t cool your Baltimore, Maryland, home as well or keep your indoor air quality as high. Here are some of the most common signs that you should replace your air conditioning system.
If you keep having problems with your air conditioner even after maintenance and repairs, you should replace it instead of dealing with an uncomfortable home and continuing to pay for repairs. However, the manufacturer’s warranty could still cover your system if it’s less than five years old. Most warranties won’t pay for labor, but they make repairs less expensive. Typically you should repair your system if it normally works well and it’s less than two years old. If you’re facing an expensive repair to an aging unit, ask us if you can save money on power and repair bills by replacing your system.
A Unit That’s More Than 10 Years Old
Manufacturers design most HVAC systems to last about 10 years. There’s no reason to repair an older system when you’ll probably have to replace it soon anyway. A new, more efficient air conditioner can also help you save money on your utility bills, and you won’t have to worry about an inconvenient breakdown in the middle of summer.
Modern systems use an environmentally friendly refrigerant called R-410A that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer, while older units use R-22, also called Freon. Unfortunately, R-410A won’t work with a unit designed for Freon. In 2010 the EPA banned R-22 in new systems, demanding that production stop by 2020. Since the ban, Freon prices have skyrocketed, making many repairs impractical. You can also get a federal tax credit for switching to an air conditioner that uses R-410A.
High Utility Bills
Like most appliances, air conditioners become less efficient as they get older. If you notice increasing utility bills along with warm spots in your home or less cool air in general, have your system examined by a professional. It could be less efficient than current systems or even need expensive repairs. Air conditioners with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) are more expensive initially, but lower energy bills make them more economical in the long term.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Even if you change your air filters regularly, older systems often lose their ability to get rid of allergens like pollen, dust, and mold from the air inside your home. Mold and mildew can produce an unpleasant musty smell, and some molds contain mycotoxins that make asthma and other respiratory problems worse. Older systems can’t dehumidify the air in your home well either, and molds thrive in areas with high humidity.
Just like an aging air conditioner, leaky ductwork can lower your indoor air quality and cause warm spots in your home. Insulated ducts can tear, become disconnected, or even collapse, letting conditioned air escape instead of reaching your HVAC system or rooms that need cooling. A professional can test your ducts for leaks. If you have a newer system with just a few leaks in the ductwork, repairing it is a good option. However, most people can save money on utility bills and never have to worry about their ducts again by switching to a ductless system.
Ductless systems have an outdoor unit and one or more indoor air-handling units. A conduit that only requires a three-inch hole through a wall links them. Each air handling unit cools its own zone and has its own thermostat so you only have to spend money cooling occupied areas.
Griffith Energy Services has more than 100 years of experience, so we can help you decide when to replace your air conditioner and choose the best system for your home. We can also install, repair, and maintain your system. You can contact us anytime at 888-474-3391.
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