When it comes to replacing your home’s cooling equipment, you have two options: wait for it to stop working or replace it before. Keep in mind that if your air conditioner dies, it will happen when it’s HOT!
Your best option is to get a new air conditioner before your unit fails. So how do you know when to replace it? Here are some guidelines for making the decision.
You’re not getting the cooling you need
If, despite proper maintenance, your unit struggles to keep your home cool, it may be time to replace it. One of the early signs of an AC unit failing is a drop in performance.
An older air conditioner isn’t quiet but if your unit becomes excessively loud and you have to raise the volume of the television when it kicks on, it may be getting close to needing replacement. Moving parts wear out over time and the longer you force it to work, the closer you’ll be to the demise of your cooling system.
Your electricity consumption rises
As your unit ages, the efficiency drops significantly. Your air conditioner will consume more electricity to meet your cooling demands, increasing your bill.
It uses R22 refrigerant
R22 refrigerant is an HCFC (or hydrochlorofluorocarbon) that depletes the ozone layer. It was once the standard refrigerant for residential units for many years but is being phased out as part of an international agreement. Even though you are not required to replace your unit, obtaining replacement R22 for servicing will become more difficult as it is phased out and it’s costly. Considering the age of most R22 air conditioners, your best bet is to replace it with the environmentally friendly alternative. Not sure if you should repair or replace your old R22 AC unit…check out this article.
Speaking of age, not everything improves! After ten or fifteen years, keeping an air conditioner just doesn’t make sense. Even if you’ve managed to keep it well-maintained, the drop off in performance means you’ll be spending way more to keep your home comfortable. It might cost you up front, but upgrading to a new unit (with a higher efficiency) will save you in the long run.
If you’re seeing signs that you may need to replace your unit or have questions about the age of your air conditioner, call M.E. Flow, your Northern Virginia air conditioning contractor, at 703-250-3569 today! M.E. Flow offers FREE estimate for replacing your AC system. We have office locations in Alexandria, Winchester and Leesburg Virginia.