You’ll need to replace your air conditioning (AC) unit from time to time. It could be because it’s already old, energy inefficient, or damaged. At that point, it’ll be inevitable to replace it as it can give you peace of mind. However, replacing the unit at the wrong time may prove costly to you, especially during summer. Therefore, you should buy one during the off-season.
Springtime usually makes the best time to do an AC unit replacement. Apart from having your unit ready when summer approaches, you’ll also avoid the rush and all the hassle that comes with it. You’ll also have enough time to research and get the best deals, which can let you save money.
But since you can’t just replace your AC unit anytime without good reason, here are the telltale signs to check when AC sales are off-season or if there’s a promotion you can take advantage of.
It’s More Than Ten Years Old
Modern AC units have an average lifespan of 15–20 years while older models have 10–15 years. Expect that a well-maintained unit can still work at its best even if it exceeds those numbers.
Another factor that determines how long an AC unit can run optimally is your local weather. In hotter climates, you can expect the efficiency of your old unit to fall even before it reached its tenth year. However, modern AC units are more energy-efficient, and they don’t deteriorate as fast.
When an AC unit starts to age, there’s a high likelihood that its functionality will begin failing. You may realize you’re getting frequent breakdowns, the air quality in the home is poor, or there’s uneven cooling. If you continue repairing and incurring costs for a unit approaching the end of its life, it can be termed a bad investment.
You may use so much money on AC repair and eventually still need to replace the AC unit altogether. If your unit breaks down twice this year and it’s only a few years off its end-of-life, make a decision and replace it.
A Significant Rise In Your Energy Bills
If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bills, your air conditioning unit might be the cause. As the unit gets older, it may require more energy to keep your home cool. There are multiple reasons behind it, but it’s often attributed to a unit’s age.
Eventually, the high energy bills and probable frequent repairs may add up to high maintenance costs. This is an excellent time to get a modern energy-efficient AC as repairs and exorbitant amounts on your bill can easily add up.
Poor Air Quality And Bad Smell
Besides cooling your home, your air conditioner also maintains the air quality in your home. If you smell something off and it’s coming from your AC, you need to do maintenance work on it. One of the main causes of this smell is mold, which can cause allergic reactions to you or your family members, especially those sensitive to dust and pollen.
Always remember that a normal functioning AC unit won’t produce any smell in the air as it should be neutral. Aside from a musty smell, you should watch out for burnt or foul odor as it’s an indicator that something has burnt in the unit.
Your AC Unit Uses R-22 Refrigerant
Generally, most AC units use either of the two refrigerants: Puron (R-410A) and Freon (R-22). As of January 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibited the production and importation of R-22 as it contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
This means, if you decide to repair such an AC running on R-22, it might cost you significantly since there will be a shortage of Freon. Instead of repairs, should consider switching to a more eco-friendly unit that uses the now preferred R-410A.
There Are Strange Noises From The Unit
Any strange noise from your air conditioning unit is a warning that something isn’t right. Apart from the standard pop sounds that you hear when the unit is turning on or off, other noises signal an issue with the AC. The following are some of the sounds you’ll hear when the unit has a problem:
- Loud bangs or pops that won’t stop
- Grinding sound that’s grating to hear
- Scraping that’s harsh to the ear
These sounds could be indicators that major components of your AC unit have broken down. Sometimes, debris in the unit or a low refrigerant level can cause these noises. Either way, if you hear those sounds and they don’t stop, get your unit checked as soon as possible. It may need to be replaced.
As a homeowner, home improvement and maintenance decisions can sometimes be challenging. However, knowing the right time to do something is crucial to saving you expensive repair costs, energy costs, and the last-minute rush to get something. The off-season makes the best time to replace your air conditioning unit.