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While your friends in the northern states haven’t put their snow shovels away yet, you’re wondering whether your AC will make it for another season.
Can you get by with a few repairs this year, or is it time for an air conditioner replacement?
Before you schedule service, take a minute and read today’s post. We’ve put together a brief guide to how to interpret the signs your air conditioner gives to let you know whether you need a repair or a new unit.
Your AC Struggles to Cool Your Home
If your unit can’t do much more than blow warm air, it likely needs a tune-up.
During an annual service visit, your AC technician may discover a dirty condenser unit. Since the condenser unit sits outside, it’s susceptible to dirt buildup on the condenser coils. It’s not uncommon for the tech to find debris stuck inside the unit as well.
If you expect your AC to work efficiently and keep temperatures cool, you can’t forego the annual AC inspection and tune-up.
During the inspection, your tech will look for worn parts and make recommendations for repairs.
The AC Never Stops Running
Even though most Florida homeowners use their air conditioner throughout the year, when spring arrives, they want even more cooling power. Now is the time to watch out for the AC that keeps on running.
Sometimes an air conditioner unit kicks on more often and then continues running long after you expect it to shut down. Along with this behavior, you may notice it takes longer than usual to cool down your home.
You may have a faulty blower motor or bad coils. Your HVAC technician should inspect these parts during your annual tune-up. Of the two repairs, replacing a bad coil is usually more costly.
A Rogue Thermostat
Your thermostat plays the role of command central for your HVAC system. Sometimes a thermostat goes rogue and sends out confusing messages to your air conditioner.
It’s all about correct calibration!
When calibrated correctly, the thermostat tells the AC to turn on and off at the right time. If you’ve set your thermostat to the desired temperature, but your home still feels too warm (or too cold), you may have a calibration issue.
Thermostat repair or replacement is one of the easier repair jobs. Most AC tune-ups include thermostat calibration.
Sky-Rocketing Energy Bills
Have you noticed an increase in cooling bills? While it’s not unusual for energy providers to make rate increases, watch out for increases you can’t explain. When you haven’t had a rate change, hotter than normal temperatures, or prolonged use of your air conditioner, it’s a sign.
You could have nothing more severe than a filthy air filter or a minor repair issue. Schedule an AC inspection soon so that you avoid a more serious problem.
An older system often shows its age by running less efficiently. Inefficiency can result in higher energy bills. We’ll talk about aging AC units in a minute.
Don’t Ignore Sounds and Smells
All air conditioners make noise and, occasionally, they smell funny.
If your AC has worn out parts, you may notice grinding and squealing. That’s not normal cooling system behavior!
As far as smells—air conditioners do often smell musty, especially here in Florida’s humid climate. If you smell something other than a musty odor, you may have a more complicated problem.
Anytime you notice strange noises or unusual odors, call your AC service tech.
You Miss Annual Maintenance Every Year
We get it—life gets busy. People put off routine scheduling of maintenance for most home appliances, especially the AC. Missing one maintenance visit may not cause too many serious problems. Failing to schedule AC tune-ups for several seasons may cost you.
Regular maintenance keeps your cooling system working efficiently. It’s possible to extend the life of an aging system by several years if you don’t miss your annual service appointments.
Whether you need a yearly or a twice-yearly visit is between you and your service tech. As your AC ages, you may need more frequent maintenance. Maintenance visits don’t only keep your system running well. They help detect repairs and the need for a new system.
Speaking of age, let’s explore what that means for your cooling system.
You Have an Aging System
No matter how well you treat your cooling system, age will catch up with it. The average air conditioner lifespan is 12-17 years.
Manufacturers make more efficient and more durable systems all the time through advancement in HVAC technology. Even so, you’ll notice AC components typically begin wearing out at around age 10. Depending on how much you use your air conditioner and how well you maintain it, you may need to replace it around the 15-year milestone.
Consistent repairs may also indicate it’s time for a new system.
Repair Bills Increase Every Year
Are you budgeting more every year in anticipation of yet another costly AC repair?
When you begin making the same repairs year after year, it’s time for analysis. Consider how much you spend on repairs against the age of the unit.
If your air conditioner requires a repair this year and it costs more than half of what you’d pay for a new system, it’s wiser to replace rather than repair.
Pay Attention to Fluctuations in Temperature
If your aging cooling system struggles to maintain consistent temperatures, it’s giving you a sign.
Whether it’s a matter of too hot or too cold, when an air conditioner can’t keep the temperature consistent, it often means the system isn’t running well enough to circulate cool air throughout your home.
When notice extreme fluctuations in temperature while running your AC, ignoring it can mean more than your discomfort. A struggling system won’t work efficiently, and you’ll pay for it with higher energy bills.
Ready to Schedule Air Conditioner Replacement?
After reading today’s post, we hope you’re better-prepared to identify signs that indicate whether you can make repairs or need an air conditioner replacement.
Why not schedule an appointment for one of our AC technicians to come out and go over your system?
We’ll give it a thorough inspection and then explore your options for replacement, if necessary. Contact us today. Let’s keep your home cool this summer!