As the days get longer and the temperatures get higher, your air conditioner becomes one of the most essential appliances in your home. A well-running, efficient air conditioner can make the summer much easier to handle. But, when parts start failing and problems start popping up, you may be left wondering if it’s time to upgrade your system. Buying a new air conditioner is a major purchase, and one that requires careful research. If you’re on the fence, here are four signs that it’s time to start the process of replacing your current air conditioner.
1. Your air conditioner isn’t keeping up with demand
The cooling season in Arizona is long and unforgiving, and your air conditioner should be able to rise to the challenge. If your home frequently feels hot, stuffy, or otherwise uncomfortable, your air conditioner isn’t doing its job. Before the summer heat gets too overwhelming, you should start exploring your options and shop around for a new system that will keep your home cool and comfortable.
2. Your energy bills are going up
It’s normal for energy bills to increase as the seasons change, but if you’re experiencing major sticker shock every time you open your bill, your air conditioner may be to blame. Problems caused by refrigerant leaks, lack of maintenance, and dirty filters can turn your air conditioner into an inefficient energy sucker. While some of these problems are an easy fix, if you continually notice your bills are skyrocketing even after a repair, it might be time to upgrade to a system with a higher SEER rating.
SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures air conditioner efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is. Most air conditioners have a SEER rating between 13-21. An air conditioner with a high SEER rating can save you money in the long run by lowering your energy bills without compromising comfort.
3. Your air conditioner is old
On average, an air conditioner has a lifespan of 10-15 years. However, in harsh climates like Arizona, 7-10 years is more common. If your air conditioner is approaching the 10 year mark, it might be time to start budgeting for a replacement. Breakdowns and inefficient performance are common with older systems, and you’ll end up feeling the effects in the form of expensive repairs and higher energy bills. Air conditioning technology has come a long way in recent years, and upgrading to a newer, more efficient system is a great decision in the long run. Not only will you enjoy better performance, but a new air conditioner can also increase the value of your home.
4. You’re dealing with frequent breakdowns and repairs
Scheduling repairs and ordering new parts can add up as time goes on, and eventually it may become prohibitively expensive to keep the old system functioning. One simple equation you can use to determine if you’ve reached this point is the $5,000 rule. Multiply the age of your air conditioner by the quoted cost of the repair. If it exceeds $5,000 then replacing the unit is a better option. For example, if your air conditioner is 8 years old, and the repair cost is $800, you’ll end up with $8,600—meaning you should replace the system instead.
Repair or replace?
As we discussed above, there are several signs that it’s time to replace your air conditioner. But, the decision isn’t always so cut and dry. It’s normal to weigh the pros and cons of repairing versus replacing an air conditioner before making the call either way. A repair may make more financial sense if:
The problem is not a recurring one
The costs of the repair are not comparable to that of a full replacement
You’ve been satisfied with the system’s performance and efficiency
Your air conditioner is less than 10 years old
On the other hand, you should consider replacing the system if:
Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old
You’ve already had to repair your air conditioner several times
The broken part or component is very expensive to repair, such as a compressor
Your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant, which has been phased out
Your air conditioner is oversized, or too large for your home
Your air conditioner is raising your utility bills due to its inefficiency
These lists don’t include every potential scenario, and when in doubt, you should contact an HVAC professional to get their honest professional opinion on what course of action is best for you. At Hays, our team excels at delivering open and clear communication. Integrity is at the heart of everything we do, and you can rest assured that we won’t try and upsell you.
Hays makes buying a new air conditioner easy
So you’ve decided to replace your air conditioner. Great! Now it’s time to start shopping. With so many brands available, it can be hard to know which air conditioner is worth the money. At Hays, we are proud to be a certified dealer of quality-brands including Trane™. Our installation professionals are continually trained on the newest technology and will always ensure you receive the perfect sized system to keep your home cool. We sell and install a variety of makes and models, including split-systems, package systems, and more. And that’s not all—our team can also set you up with a new smart thermostat to enable control of your system from anywhere.