Repair or replace?
It’s an age-old question that’s likely plagued homeowners since the first days of indoor plumbing, and it causes no fewer headaches today!
This is especially true for big-ticket household items. When do you get a new AC system, for example, and when do you simply repair it? When you’re keeping the high cost of a new central AC system in mind, the decision can feel overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 5 telltale signs it’s time to get a new AC system. Read on to start diagnosing your AC’s issues, and to decide when it’s time to spring for an update.
1. Uncomfortable Temperatures
This is one of the most telling signs of air conditioner issues. Your air conditioner should run cool within a few minutes of turning on, so if this isn’t the case, there may be a worn-down component that needs repair—or the unit itself may be aging.
If you and your family are growing used to dealing with balmy temperatures in your home, it may be time to replace your AC unit entirely.
2. Moisture Buildups and Leaks
It’s not uncommon to see moisture building up on different components of your air conditioner. However, if you begin to notice significant moisture building on either your internal or external AC unit, or if you’ve sprung a leak, you’ll want to make a note of it.
Often, this is a quick fix, especially in the case of a refrigerant leak. However, it can also be a sign of more serious damage that may cause your system to underperform in the long-term. Make sure to reach out to a seasoned expert, like the team at Schneider Mechanical, to know whether it’s time to repair or replace your unit.
3. Unusual Sounds
Once you’ve had an air conditioner installed, you’ll quickly grow familiar with its normal range of sounds, like a low whirring or humming.
A major red flag is when your unit diverges from this normal range of sounds. If your air conditioner is much noisier than it used to be, it may be a sign of aging. Over time, components may shift or deteriorate, which can cause squeaking or grinding noises that catch your attention.
4. Strange Smells
The air that comes out of your HVAC unit should be clean, neutral-smelling air. As long as you’ve replaced your air filters according to the recommended schedule, you can usually count on this being the case.
Strange, persistent smells can be a sign of deeper issues within your unit. Watch for musty, moldy smells in particular, as well as the scent of smoke or burning. The latter calls for an immediate inspection.
5. High Utility Bills
Feel like your energy bills are through the roof lately? If you’ve crossed off some of the common culprits, your air conditioner might be to blame.
While most modern ACs run with remarkable energy efficiency, older ones can be real power guzzlers. This is especially true if they have worn or shifted parts that make them work harder to cool down your home.
Upgrading to a newer alternative, especially a recommended ENERGY STAR model, can take care of this issue and keep more cash in your pocket in the long run.
It’s Time to Consider a New AC System
A well-maintained air conditioner can last you a decade or more, even with regular usage—but once you start to see the red flags above, it may be a sign that its lifespan is coming to an end. If you’re on the fence about getting a new AC system, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional to diagnose the issue. From there, work with their advice to get your home’s air quality back up to speed.
Looking for more of the basic tips you need in life? Check out our other posts for more helpful insights.