When is the Right Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit?

Replacing your HVAC unit is a big decision, and it's not one that many people take lightly. But at some point, the time will come to replace the unit. How do you know when you've reached that point? Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioning unit. If you haven't yet upgraded to a new air conditioning unit, chances are that your old one needs an upgrade.

If you can hear a fan or motor running in the attic while the thermostat is turned off, it's likely that the air conditioning isn't properly installed and functioning. Many homebuyers focus solely on the size of the air conditioner when they are buying a new one. Heat pumps and air conditioners are measured in tons, but this doesn't refer to the weight of the unit. If properly maintained and serviced at least once a year, your unit can continue to work well for longer.

Scheduling a seasonal tune-up will allow the service technician to detect minor problems before they become serious issues that cause air conditioning to malfunction. According to Energy Star, you should consider replacing your air conditioner if it is more than 10 years old, and you should seriously consider replacing it if it is more than 15 years old, since this is the average lifespan of most cooling devices. An important factor to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your existing air conditioner is your comfort level. If you invest in annual air conditioner repairs and inspections, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the air conditioner can last up to 17 years.

Regardless of the level of maintenance an older air conditioner has, it will always be less efficient than a modern system. You should especially consider replacing the system if repair costs exceed 50 percent of the price of a new air conditioner. If you see that your energy bills are increasing, buying a new, more efficient unit could be a worthwhile long-term investment. Factors such as type, size, brand, and even the SEER rating can help you decide which type of AC unit to replace your current one with.

Of course, buying a new one is an option and it may be the best option. But it's not the only one. You might want to consider a heat pump. However, if your current AC unit is aging but still working well, you might be able to spend more time on it before it needs to be replaced.