On a hot summer day, when you come back home to your cool safe haven, and it turns out that your air conditioner is malfunctioning, it’s such a put-off. Even then you’d only think of repairing it. There comes a time when your trusty AC does not work the way it used to. That may be a sign that it needs to be replaced rather than repaired. Here are 6 signs that tell you if your air conditioning system needs to be replaced.
How Often Should You Replace Your AC?
Air conditioners last a long time. They can actually last for more than a decade, up to around 10 to 15 years. It’s important to note that they survive much longer if they are maintained well. To do this, you need to clean the filters and air ducts regularly and get the air conditioning serviced annually. The best time to have this done is in spring, to get ready just in time for the summer.
Keep a lookout for issues and repair the AC as soon as you notice any. If you leave an issue for a longer period, the problem will only get worse, and the AC will need to be repaired. If you keep up with the maintenance regularly, do not delay servicing, and get repairs sooner, your AC will last you a long time.
However, if your air conditioning system is really old, like a decade old, and it begins to just fan around the air rather than cool your home, then consider replacing your AC because repairing old air conditioners with multiple issues is usually very expensive.
1. No More Cold Air
This is the most obvious sign that things are not well with your AC. When in the hottest summers, your air conditioning fails to do what it is meant to do, You’d want to get it checked. First, check the thermostat; sometimes the settings are changed accidentally, and it turns out nothing is wrong. If the settings are correct, then the compressor might be broken, or the Freon (chlorofluorocarbons) levels may be too low. It may turn out to be unclean air filters. In any case, it’s best if you call a professional to check. If you have a warranty for the repairs, this is the time to use it.
2. The Air Flow Isn’t How It’s Supposed To Be
If your air conditioning is giving out cold air, but the airflow isn’t that great, it means that either the vents are blocked or damaged. It is also possible that the compressor is not operating efficiently. In this case, you’re better off calling in an expert to have a look. If the compressor or vents need to be replaced, it is actually better to have the air conditioning replaced. You can weigh the cost of both options and choose according to your situation.
If you notice condensation around your AC, don’t panic, it is fairly normal. However, if there is excessive leakage, that is a major concern. Refrigerant or coolant is the liquid that cools the air in the AC. Its leakage means a cracked dip pan, frozen evaporator coils, or simply an overflow. If you notice leakage, a replacement is advised because the leakage coolant is a health risk. Excessive leakage can also lead to electrical disasters and damage to the furniture and floors can occur. In worse conditions, it can lead to mold growth on your furniture.
If you hear weird sounds like grinding, banging, or rattling, turn off the AC immediately and call in an expert. An AC unit is meant to work with barely noticeable noise. Strange sounds can be heard if there is a broken motor bearing, or the belt is slipping out of place. This usually happens when the AC is very old. It’s important that you find a reliable professional in your area to assess the situation. If you live in Florida, for example, then you need to ask around to find out who provides the best service. If you hear some weird, loud sounds, an air conditioning replacement in Tampa is a little inexpensive than the repairs such an AC might require. A rattling sound tells you that your AC is aging, and some of the parts are coming loose. Another reason for weird noises can be something clogging the system. It is imperative that you don’t ignore these noises, because they always mean there is some underlying issue with the AC. Whether you opt for repairs or replacement, just make sure you get it checked.
5. Foul Smell
A nasty odor never means something good, does it? Ideally, there should be no smell coming from the air conditioning at all. If you smell a strange musty odor coming from the AC unit, it may be due to a mold in the air conditioning duct. If it smells like rotten eggs, there can be a dead animal in the AC unit. The mold or any carcass can be cleaned by professionals, and ensure that you get the AC unit pest-proofed. A foul smell can also be indicative of the refrigerant leaking. The Freon in the refrigerant causes the air coming from the AC to stink like chloroform.
If you can smell gas from the AC, it is most certainly methyl mercaptan. Gas distributors put methyl mercaptan in natural gas to ensure that it can be detected. A burning smell may indicate a burnt component of the AC.
If there is a smell due to coolant or gas leakage and burning, get the AC unit looked at. It usually means a serious issue with the cooling systems. If there are repeated occurrences, replace your air conditioning.
6. Your Electricity Bill Is Very High
If your energy bill is higher than usual, it can mean that your AC is working too hard to achieve its normal performance. Even if you keep the thermostat at normal, use it only at night, and especially if your home isn’t properly cooled, and still you get a higher bill than usual, then consider a replacement. Newer technologies are energy efficient, and they reduce the bill significantly.
If you consider the signs individually, it may not mean an instant replacement is required; get it repaired and it’ll do fine. However, if two or more of these signs are present at the same time, you need to consider air conditioning replacement. This is especially important if your air conditioner is more than a decade old. Keep up with your maintenance, but if you see the costs of repairs rising constantly, just replace your air conditioning instead.