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8 Signs You Might Need a New AC Unit

replace ac unit

The last thing anyone wants to suffer through is the heat and humidity of a South Carolinian summer. Unfortunately, every year, multiple households go without air conditioning because they didn’t know the signs to replace their AC unit.

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your air conditioner completely dies before you replace it. In fact, choosing to replace the system before it completely crashes may save you time, money, and headache.

Keep reading to find out the signs you should know for when to replace your AC unit!

Nothing Lasts Forever – Not Even Your AC Unit…


Just like every other appliance in your home, your AC is not immune to aging. The average amount of time a central air conditioner lasts is between 15 and 20 years.

These numbers do not promise that your system will last that long nor does it mean that it will only operate for that amount of time.

how to know when you need to replace your ac unit

If you’re unsure of just how old your AC unit is, the easiest way to find out is by calling a professional.

Serial numbers can be used to identify the age but to the untrained eye may be confusing.

No matter how old your air conditioning system is, it can always benefit from regular maintenance. Failing to schedule proactive care is similar to forgetting to change the oil in your car–your car may not seize up right away, but old, dirty oil will definitely shorten its life.

Replace Your AC Unit if Energy Bills Are Rising

Electricity isn’t cheap and your air conditioner is one of the most expensive appliances to run. Unless you decide to completely turn your AC off or leave your home uncomfortably warm, you may notice large increases in your energy bill.

These large increases are especially common when your air conditioner is older and becoming less efficient. Sometimes your AC unit will cool your home but end up costing an arm and a leg to do so.

If your AC isn’t nearing its final days and you are still noticing large spikes in your energy bill, it could be in need of repair or maintenance. Remember: your AC’s filter is one of the most important components and a dirty one can be to blame for the energy consumption increase.

Are You Faced With Expensive Heating & AC Repairs?

Any piece of machinery can have problems and need repairs. However, if your AC is older and you are looking at costly repairs to keep it running, it may be best to replace it.

No matter the age of your system, it may require an expensive repair. Typically, people will make a repair if the system is under 10 years old. If your system is a bit older, take into consideration how much the repair will cost and how long your AC should last. Then compare it to the cost of a new unit.

A trustworthy AC technician will be able to help guide you in this decision.

Is Your Refrigerant Old?

Most commonly known as Freon, older air conditioning systems use R22 Freon or refrigerant. While your AC may run well for the foreseeable future, you should know that this type of refrigerant is being phased out by the federal government.

What does this mean for your system?

With R22 being phased out, it will become increasingly expensive to use. Additionally, it is not possible to ‘top off’ your system with the newer refrigerant, R410A.

The government has banned the production of this refrigerant because it is damaging to the environment and the Ozone layer. The production ban began in January of 2015 which means that the cost will only continue to increase.

Is Your Cooling Inconsistent?

When you have central air conditioning, your home should be about the same temperature throughout. Of course, in rooms with fans you may feel cooler or in a room with a large window, you may feel warmer.

Aside from these stipulations, walking from room to room, your home should feel consistently cool. If one room feels freezing while the other is sweltering, it may have to do with your ductwork and how your air conditioning system is moving air.

With this said, a home that is inconsistently cooled will almost always rack up more in energy bills and still never feel completely comfortable.

Does Your System Simply Just Keep Breaking?

You might be thinking that you’ve lucked out so far–your AC isn’t brand new but not too old, it isn’t costing a ton of money in energy, the system cools your home, and you’ve not had any expensive repairs.

Unfortunately, it seems to always break down when you need it the most. These small, frequent repairs that are needed always add up. The cost of the call out, parts, labor, and even the time spent without AC may all add up to one thing:

Replace your AC unit.

Are You Hearing Loud, Rattling Noises?

An AC system should run quietly. Hearing banging, rattling, or any other types of noises could mean that a component has become loose or the entire unit is deteriorating.

Although not every unusual noise your system makes means that it is detrimental and needs to be replaced, it is always a sign to call a professional. Leaving strange noises unchecked could mean a replacement, expensive repairs, or even fire damage.

There Might Be Excessive Dust in Your Home

Most people at least attempt to keep a tidy home. If you’re finding that you always have dust on every surface, it might have nothing to do with you and everything to do with your AC.

Hopefully, you’ve maintained your air filters and changed them as needed but if you haven’t, now is the time to do so. If you’ve kept them clean, your home’s AC system may have a deeper issue.

This could be related to the blower motor, the air ducts, or numerous other problems. Depending on the causation, you may find it cheaper to completely start new and replace your AC unit.

Making The Decision To Replace Your Heating & Cooling Unit

No one can tell you exactly when to replace your AC unit but if you are noticing any of these signs, it may be the perfect time to do so.

Whether you are looking to repair, replace, or maintain your AC unit, we can help you do so. Before calling any old neighborhood handyman, make sure that they know how to keep your warranty intact and are certified to make the needed repairs!

Otherwise, contact us for any of your HVAC needs!

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