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Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Is My Old AC Ready to Retire for a New One?

ac-unit-scrapyard

The question in the title is the one we hear more often from our customers than any other. People know their air conditioners will not last forever, no matter how much they’d like them to. At some point, they must schedule a new air conditioning installation in Bensalem, PA to replace it. But when is it time to stop repairs and get a new AC?

This is not an easy question to answer if you’re a non-professional. In fact, you shouldn’t attempt to answer it on your own. The best next step when you suspect your AC may be ready for the recycling yard is to call our professionals for an assessment. They can give you honest answers about whether a replacement or continued repairs are the best for your cooling future. 

The Basics of Knowing When an AC Is Ready to Retire

Although we want you to work with professionals to make a decision about replacing your AC, we can give you a brief education on some of the signs that will tell you an air conditioning system is nearing the end of its service life:

  • System age: This is the best place to start, although the age of a system isn’t an absolute about when it needs a replacement. Most central ACs last from 10 to 15 years when they have regular maintenance. An AC that’s more than 15 years old should probably be replaced when it begins to malfunction since the chance of it continuing to worsen is high. An AC that has skipped maintenance may have its system life shortened by half. 
  • Frequency of recent repairs: An AC needs the most repair work during the last five years of its service life. If you’ve had to repair your air conditioner once a year for the past few years, that’s too often. And you shouldn’t need to have the AC repaired more than once a year.
  • Cost of repairs: When you get a quote for an AC repair, check it against the cost of the replacement system you’re most likely to purchase. If the repair is more than half the cost of the new system, go with the new system. Another method to use is to multiply the repair cost by the age of the AC in years. If the result is greater than 5,000, a replacement is better. 
  • Rising summer bills: If you’ve kept your air conditioner maintained each year, it should only lose about 5% of its original efficiency ratio over most of its life. During the last two years, however, it will start to lose efficiency and push up summer cooling costs. If you’re seeing a steady rise in how much you pay to keep cool—and it isn’t due to a price hike in electricity—the AC is signaling to you it needs to retire.
  • Decline in cooling capacity: In other words, the AC can no longer keep up with your home’s cooling requirements. If repairs have failed to turn this around before, it’s time for a new system.

Call Your Highly Rated, One-Stop-Shop HVAC Company, Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning. A Degree Above the Rest.

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