How Do You Know You Need A New Air Conditioner?
Imagine that it’s the middle of the summer. It’s a hot, humid day. You sweat as you saunter over to the thermostat to turn on the air conditioner and ‘click’ … nothing happens. Panic kicks in. What do you do? Try to figure out what’s wrong all by yourself? Call a pro to fix it? What if you need to buy a whole new AC unit? Is it in the budget? Meanwhile, the whole family swelters, waiting for the AC to be fixed.
That’s a household nightmare you don’t want to run into in the middle of summer. And that’s why you should know the telltale signs your AC needs to be replaced, before it actually bites the dust.
It’s An Energy Sucker
“If it’s running longer than normal to achieve the same level of comfort, that may be a sign it needs to be replaced,” says Keith Hill, manager, technical support, for Minnesota Air.
If you notice your energy bills are going up and it hasn’t been particularly warmer than usual, you could be losing efficiency on your AC. This is a particularly worrisome sign, especially if you get the proper HVAC maintenance checks, change your filter regularly, and make sure to keep your AC unit clean.
It’s Getting Noisy
Can’t hear over the outdoor unit when it’s running? That’s another sign you may need to get a new AC. More noise may be a signal that your air conditioner’s parts are breaking down. According to ENERGY STAR, it could also mean there is a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment or that you may have an undersized duct system.
You may want to consider replacing an air conditioner that is more than 10 years old. There have been so many technological advances in the last 10 years that now the government mandates higher energy-efficiency standards for newer HVAC units. Even AC units that seem to still be working OK could save you a lot more money if replaced with a high-efficiency unit. ENERGY STAR says a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label can save up to 20 percent on cooling costs if installed correctly.
“Certainly if the unit is getting old, think about replacing it,” says Keith. “A new unit compared to a 20-year-old unit will have a dramatic difference in electrical operating costs. Even if it is working, why would you want to hang on to an energy hog?”
It Needs Frequent Repairs
If you are calling the repair technician more than you are calling your mother – get it replaced! Keith says if it blows a fuse or circuit breaker frequently that’s a warning sign.
“If you hire a pro, ask him to do an electric test of the compressor. The electrical motor windings internally can start to fail and it can be discovered in advance if you look for it,” says Keith. “Have the pro do an acid test of the refrigerant. If the system was contaminated it will lead to premature failure.”
If you want to stop wasting your money on repairs and upgrade to an energy efficient model, call an HVAC professional like the folks at staycomfyminnesota.com before your air conditioner goes to the big air conditioner graveyard in the sky.
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.