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How to Tell It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning System

ac-unit-from-the-topThe fall is an unusual season for the HVAC industry, balanced between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Air conditioning systems do less work—although they may still have some to do—and most heaters aren’t ready to come on yet. This means fewer emergency calls, and instead people thinking about the future. This means scheduling heating maintenance, which is an essential part of ensuring a house has reliable warmth through the coming winter and bills are kept under control. It can also mean arranging for major changes to the HVAC system. For example, if a home’s air conditioner showed signs over the previous summer that it’s too old to do its job, fall is the time to arrange for the installation of a new central air conditioner in Auburn, CA.

How to tell your AC is ready to be replaced

You don’t want to replace a large, expensive appliance like a central air conditioner when it still has a few good, energy efficient years left in it. We strongly recommend you only make the choice for a replacement after you’ve consulted with us and given us an opportunity to look over the current cooling system. Of course, you already have to have some idea that the AC is wearing down, and there are a few major signs to look for:

  • Basic old age: First, how old is your current air conditioner? Was it already in the house when you moved in? The general service life expectancy for central air conditioning systems is 10 to 15 years. Most warranties are for 10 or 12 years. When an air conditioner is past 15 years, it has a higher chance of losing its efficiency and suddenly breaking down. We recommend considering a replacement for any AC over 15 years in service.
  • Loud operation: During the summer, was turning on the air conditioner an annoyance because it made a racket? If this is a new occurrence, you may be looking at an AC in its final stages. A single strange noise points toward a repair need. Many of them point toward getting a new air conditioner.
  • Escalating utility bills: Take a look at your electrical bills over the last summer, and compare them to what you’ve been paying for the previous years. A small rise in cost shouldn’t be a concern. A noticeably larger one is. If you can’t account for the rise for an external reason (more people staying in the house, fewer days on vacation, etc.) you may be looking at a declining air conditioner. There are other possibilities as well, such as leaky ducts, so call on our experts to find out the cause of the cost increase and what needs to be done about it.
  • Repairs are piling up: Repairing an AC more than once per season is too much, and usually a sign the system is wearing down to the point where it’s more cost effective to replace it. Don’t pay more than $500 per year to keep an aging air conditioner running, and you should replace the air conditioner rather than pay for a repair that costs more than half the price of a replacement.

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