As a homeowner, you obviously rely heavily on your air conditioning unit when the blazing hot summer rolls around. With proper care and regular maintenance, many systems can last for as much as ten years. Nevertheless, as time passes and your asset depreciates, you will have to change or upgrade your home cooling setup.
How to figure out the right time for an AC unit replacement? This piece lists the reasons why air conditioning systems malfunction. It will also discuss the things you should do while evaluating your equipment and advise what aspects to consider when purchasing a new air conditioning setup.
Air Conditioning System Failure: 6 Major Causes
Having a broken air conditioning unit during the peak summer months can be incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating. If you’ve suffered from this and need to call in a service tech, they’re likely to diagnose one (or more) of the following problems with your AC.
The coils within an air conditioning system are responsible for cooling the warm air inside your house. With regular use, dirt/mud/dust and other debris tend to clog the ducts and filters. As a result, warm air is unable (or barely able) to reach the coils. This stops the coils from performing their job effectively. In the end, the coils may freeze and become useless while you would have a stuffy and congested home full of warm air during the summer.
End of Shelf Life
The average lifespan of a home air conditioning system is around 17 years. If your unit has been there for a while and you notice a considerable drop in performance, it might be time for an upgrade. Energy efficiency also decreases as time goes by. This means that you’re probably paying more in energy bills to keep your home cool than you might need to with a newer setup. In addition, older ACs are likely to require more frequent repairs since their components are vulnerable to greater wear and tear.
Overburdened Contactors & Capacitors
Contactors and capacitors ensure the smooth running of all essential motors within an air conditioning system. Examples include the blower motor and the fan motor. Since these parts have lots of electricity flowing through them, they’re vulnerable to overheating and extra burden. This is especially the case during the height of the summer when homeowners run their ACs at full blast to beat the heat.
Coils need a chemical liquid, known as “refrigerant,” to cool the incoming air. Without it, there would be no air conditioning in your home. Hence, if the refrigerant starts leaking, there’s a shortage of this essential coolant, and your system won’t be able to work properly.
A faulty thermostat (measures indoor temperature and commands the AC unit when to turn off and on) is another primary cause of air conditioning failure. Therefore, if your thermostat isn’t right, it’s likely to give false and unclear information to the cooling unit. As a result, your system may turn on when it shouldn’t and vice versa.
Over time, the quality of your AC unit’s wiring may deteriorate and negatively affect the circuit breaker. Moreover, there’s a chance that the wires weren’t set up in the right order when you got the air conditioning system installed. So, if you have any doubts about the state of the wiring, get it checked by a licensed electrician. There might be a need to repair and replace some of those old wires.
Diagnosing Air Conditioning Problems
You can do a few things to fix the issues plaguing your air conditioner. For starters, get every part of your equipment cleaned and inspected annually. This would increase the shelf life of your AC unit and keep many common problems at bay for longer. Beyond that, you should keep an eye on your fuse and circuit breaker to ensure no electricity-related concerns. Lastly, get the filters out and clean them several times every month. Furthermore, change them once every few months to keep your AC system running flawlessly.
Ideally, it would help if you had your unit examined by a professional before experimenting with any DIY repairs. Aside from the things mentioned above, it’s better to call a competent technician to look at your air conditioning setup. Laird & Son Heating & Air Conditioning has a team of top-notch techs for this very purpose. You can contact them for a free evaluation of your system. They’ll help you figure out your air conditioner replacement cost and any needed repairs.
What to Look for In a New Air Conditioning System
A brand-new unit will likely cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. With a professional assessment, you’ll be able to decide if it’s worth repairing your old AC or if it’s better to get a replacement. If you go with the latter, the following are some aspects to consider while AC shopping.
Cost of Replacement
Cost is a major consideration when replacing your air conditioner. Thankfully, there are rebates available to help you offset the cost. You can avail utility and government rebates based on the type of system you go for. To that end, Laird & Son Heating & Air Conditioning provides different options. They’ll help you make a well-informed decision according to your budget and cooling needs.
Efficiency & Age
As mentioned earlier, the average lifespan of a home air conditioning system is about 17 years. In case the efficiency of your unit has gone down, this is probably because your setup is approaching that average age. It has probably been around for 12 years or longer. If that is the case, you’ll be better off getting a replacement because that will be less costly than the frequent repairs you’ll need with the older AC.
Size Due to Space Changes
It’s convenient to purchase a new air conditioner of the same size. However, you’re likely to have made many changes to your place since the last time you installed a cooling system. Based on that, you might want to consider a smaller or bigger unit.
For instance, if the house has more insulation than a decade ago or has been some new construction over the years, the cooling requirements would be different. You might need to bring in a contractor who can perform a detailed load analysis to make the right decision. This will help you figure out the perfect sized air conditioning unit based on your home’s revised cooling needs.
A regular maintenance routine can keep that air conditioning system running optimally. You can also preempt many problems and fix them before they become a hazard. Don’t know how to go about it? The certified technicians at Laird & Son Heating & Air Conditioning can certainly help you out. Reach out to them today!