10 Signs That Your AC Unit Needs to be Replaced

It's no secret that air conditioners don't last forever. If your air conditioning unit is at least ten years old, it's time to start thinking about replacing it. But how can you tell when it's time to invest in a new unit? Here are 10 signs that your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Unusual or loud noises during operation are a sure sign that your air conditioner unit is nearing the end of its life.

On average, air conditioning units last 10 to 15 years, while HVAC systems last 15 to 20 years. If your system is properly maintained, such as by routinely cleaning filters and system air ducts, it can last even longer. If you experience any of these 10 signs, contact a professional HVAC technician. Trying to do the repairs yourself can result in unnecessary costs if something goes wrong. A properly functioning air conditioning system should not squeak, squeal, or rattle. Do any rooms in your house always feel hotter or colder than the others? If so, it could be a sign that your current air conditioning system isn't as efficient as it used to be.

If your air conditioner is relatively new and has inconsistent temperatures, the problem may be that you bought an air conditioner unit that is too small for your home. Check the small print of your sales contract to see if you can still change it. When selecting a new one, make sure it has enough BTUs (British thermal units) to cool your entire house. For every ton of heat that must be removed from your home, the air conditioner must have 12,000 BTU. An HVAC technician can help you determine the perfect size for your home, considering square footage, ceiling height, and the number of people living in your home. There are many reasons why an air conditioner can be noisy.

Among them, it could be that the inside of the unit is clogged with dust and dirt, or that its compressor is faulty, or that the motor needs lubrication. For the most part, these are problems of lack of maintenance that could be solved by an HVAC technician. If you start to notice some humidity inside your home while the air conditioner is running, the unit may need to be repaired. In this situation, a strong odor may indicate a burnt cable inside the unit, while a musty smell may indicate that there is mold somewhere inside the unit or in the ducts. While you might see some moisture condensed around the air conditioning system, puddles or oddly colored buildup can be a bigger problem. If you don't get cold air when you turn on your AC unit, there's probably something wrong with it.

Investing money in repairs that only extend the life of the unit for a short period of time is inefficient and burdens your home budget. You can avoid expensive air conditioning repair service by identifying small problems before they become big problems. If you see an increase in your bill that doesn't seem to be related to increased usage, the efficiency of your air conditioning system may be compromised. In many cases, this is an indication of a faulty compressor, but it can also be a sign of a problem with the ducts. Discuss any unusual odors with an HVAC technician and ask them to inspect your unit to help you determine if you simply need new air conditioning parts or if you want to buy a new system. The Department of Energy recommends replacing your HVAC system 10 to 15 years after installation. Although modern air conditioners tend to last longer, the main components of the system will start to deteriorate around this time.

You depend on your air conditioner to keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer, so while replacing a faulty system can be expensive, it's worth the cost. While breakdowns in air conditioning systems often infuriate landlords and renters, when you're covered by a home warranty, these problems don't have to ruin you. In the long run, buying a new air conditioning system will be a better investment for your home comfort and your pocket. When deciding whether or not it's time for an AC replacement, consider these 10 signs carefully. If any of them apply to you and your current AC unit, contact an HVAC technician for advice on what steps you should take next.