It’s happened to everyone – you get your air conditioner inspected in the spring, you diligently remember to change your filters once every month, you perform all the proper air conditioner maintenance steps and still your air conditioner quits on the hottest day of the summer. It’s unfortunate, but let’s face it – air conditioners aren’t designed to last forever! Eventually, air conditioner repairs aren’t going to be enough anymore – you’re going to need full on air conditioner replacement. But how do you know when you hit that point?
How to Know When You Need Air Conditioner Replacement
There are a number of warning signs that will pop up that will let you know when it’s time for air conditioner replacement.
You need frequent air conditioner repair – the most obvious sign that you need air conditioner replacement is when you start needing constant air conditioner repairs. If your AC starts needing repairs more than once a season, those air conditioner repairs will patch up the problems but they probably won’t actually fix them. But think about it this way – if you need AC repair too often, air conditioner replacement may actually save you money on repair costs!
You have inconsistent temperatures in your home – having severe temperature inconsistencies (either cold / hot spots or whole rooms that are the wrong temperature) this is a definite sign that you need air conditioner replacement. Rooms where the vents are releasing too much air, rooms that can’t stay cool or rooms that get humid and sticky are signs that you have one of these problems:
- Your air conditioner is malfunctioning
- You have poor insulation
- You have issues with the duct work
You have an aging AC system – the most common reason why you might need air conditioner replacement is also the simplest – your air conditioner is just too old! Like we said above, air conditioners are not designed to last forever – most usually last about 10 – 12 years. If your AC is older than that, air conditioner replacement is the way to go – a new system will require far fewer repairs and will run much more efficiently, possibly ending up saving you money. In fact, replacing an aging and worn out air conditioner can actually have a number of benefits, including:
- Increased energy efficiency, resulting in lower electric bills
- Improved indoor air quality
- Reduced carbon emissions
- Eligibility for the 2011 energy tax credit which can help offset the initial costs
How much money will air conditioner replacement save?
If you’re still not sure about whether you need air conditioner replacement, there is actually an easy way to figure out how long it would take before the new system paid you back (in savings).
To figure this out, first determine the amount of energy you could save with a new air conditioner.
Assuming that your air conditioner was installed 10 years ago, it probably has an SEER of 7. These days, the minimum SEER possible is 13, meaning that almost no matter what, a new air conditioner will save you at least 50% on your air conditioning costs. If your air conditioner accounts for 30% of your monthly energy bills, air conditioner replacement will reduce your monthly energy bills by about 15%.
Once you figure that out, figure out how much you pay every summer for air conditioner repair. When you get these numbers, do the math to determine how much money a new air conditioner will save you every summer. Once you know that, figuring you how long it will take the new air conditioner to pay you back is a snap!
If you live in Maryland or Washington, DC and have an old air conditioner that needs frequent repairs or doesn’t cool your house properly, call All Seasons Heating & Cooling. We can come out and inspect your air conditioner and determine how much money you would save if you had air conditioner replacement.