Replacing the air conditioning system in your Sacramento home requires a substantial financial investment. When you purchase a new air conditioner, you want to know that you’re getting one that will last, and you want to have a basic idea of how long an air conditioner will function before it needs replacing.
How Long Does an Air Conditioner Last?
Modern energy-efficient systems reduce the humidity levels in your home, making it a comfortable place to be during the hot summer months. This increases the workload on the system, so most central air conditioner systems only last between 10 and 15 years. The number of years your air conditioner will function will vary based on the brand you purchase, the quality of the unit, and the amount of maintenance you give the unit. Some higher-quality units that are well maintained may last for 20 years or more.
It is important that you have a new air conditioner installed properly. The quality of the initial installation of your unit will play a major role in the system’s life span. Air conditioners are designed to cool an area of a specific size. A poorly designed and poorly installed system may need to run more frequently than usual in an attempt to cool a space that’s too big. Improperly sealed ductwork can lead to leaks, meaning that your air conditioner has to work even harder because it’s losing cool air as it moves through the ductwork. All of this will affect the life span of the unit.
Other factors that will impact the life span of your air conditioner include how frequently you use it and the air quality where you live. If you run your air conditioner 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will break down sooner than if you were to use it a few hours daily. Here are some things you should look out for that will give you a clue that your air conditioner is almost at a point when it will need replacement.
It Is Not Cooling Your Home Well
There is an issue if your air conditioner is running but not cooling your home. It could be something simple like requiring a filter change or something more serious, including damage to the evaporator or condenser coil. If your air conditioner is relatively new and you’re having cooling issues, it will likely be more cost-effective to repair the issue. If your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, and the repair will cost more than 50% of the value of the air conditioner, it’s likely best for you to have the unit replaced with a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Constantly Breaking Down
It is normal to contact technicians to make some minor repairs on your air conditioner over the course of its lifecycle. However, you should not need to have something repaired on your air conditioner every summer or multiple times each summer. Most AC issues result from a lack of maintenance, and if you have regular maintenance, you can prevent many breakdowns. An air conditioner with multiple breakdowns is on its last leg, even though it is well-maintained. You might not need an AC replacement tomorrow, but it’s time to start preparing for one in case your unit completely fails.
Frequent breakdowns mean frequent calls to HVAC technicians, and the cost of these can add up over time. It reaches a point where it is better economically to purchase a new unit than throwing money into expensive repairs. This is especially true if your air conditioner is old enough that its warranty has expired.
Energy Bills Skyrocket
If you are using the same amount of energy in your home but notice that your electric bill is rising month after month, there might be an issue with your air conditioner unit. Higher-than-average energy bills usually indicate that your air conditioner is malfunctioning. This can be caused by a number of complicated problems resulting in a reduction in your AC unit’s efficiency. Having a high energy bill once or twice is not the end of the world. However, if you notice that your energy bills go up and don’t come down, it might be time to search for a new air conditioner.
Replacing a Unit That Is Negatively Affecting Indoor Air Quality
Does it feel like there is more dust in the air than usual? If you had your air conditioner filters replaced and there is still constant dust in your home, it may indicate that your air conditioner is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced. Issues that allow excess dust to travel through your air conditioner are straining the unit and shortening its life span.
Additionally, if you smell mildew or a smoky, earthy smell every time your AC unit starts up, this is a major red flag. You want to address any foul odors from the AC unit immediately. It could indicate a major issue, such as mold, that can damage the unit, or it might be an electrical malfunction that may require replacing the unit.
Ways to Extend the Life Span and Improve Efficiency
Frequently changing the air filters will extend the unit’s life span. When the filter is clean, it won’t have to strain to push the air through the ducts. In addition, there are other ways to try and minimize your AC system’s workload. You can do this by using blinds and drapes in sunny areas to reduce the heat and lessen the stress on your air conditioner. It won’t have to work as hard to maintain the set temperature.
Take steps to improve your home’s air quality by eliminating dust. Whole-home dehumidifiers and air purifiers can help alleviate indoor air quality issues and simultaneously boost your air conditioner’s efficiency. Finally, include regular HVAC maintenance as part of your annual to-do checklist.
Knowing When It’s Time to Buy a New Air Conditioner
It’s time to consider purchasing a new air conditioning unit when your old system is starting to falter. Between replacements, repair parts, and increased energy bills, you could spend more money on a system that doesn’t meet your needs when you could be using that money to purchase a new system.
Keeping Your Sacramento Home Comfortable All Year
At Grandmark Service Company, we give our customers the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their HVAC system is in excellent condition. We proudly boast an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. We work hard to help our clients protect the investments in their homes, and we do this by offering urgent HVAC repairs when emergencies arise. Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We also provide solar panel installation as well as traditional residential and commercial roof installation, repair, and inspection. Contact Grandmark Service Company today and see what it is like to work with a company that puts you first.