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Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Was This Your AC’s Last Summer?

old-air-conditioner

Air conditioning systems are built for function, not for decor, but it’s still difficult for any homeowner to decide to replace a central air conditioning system because of the cost. People want the most years possible from an investment like an AC.

If you are currently facing a situation where you think your AC is ready for replacement, but you’re still hesitant because maybe you can get a few more years out of it, you’ve come to the right place. We handle all types of air conditioning services, such as AC installation in Newtown, PA, and we can share some wisdom regarding how to tell if your air conditioner has gone through its final summer.

How old is the AC?

Although age doesn’t automatically determine if an air conditioner should be replaced (there’s no rule like “you need a new AC every 10 years”), it does offer one of the best guidelines. The average service life of an AC is 10–15 years, less if the system hasn’t received regular maintenance. Regular tune-ups and prompt repairs can often get an air conditioner to 15 years, but we caution people to keep a close watch for signs of a decline in any AC that’s more than 12 years old. We don’t recommend pushing an AC past 15 years because it’s at a higher risk of inefficiency, expensive repairs, and abrupt breakdowns.

How often has the AC needed repairs in the past few years?

No air conditioning system should require annual repairs to keep it going. That’s too much, and the expenses will add up rapidly to the point they’re costlier than getting a new system. If you’ve had too many visits from repair technicians for your AC, we recommend having those technicians (preferably ours!) replace the unit.

How much do repairs cost?

Before you go ahead with any professional repair, think about the repair cost versus the cost of installing a new air conditioner. A general rule of thumb is not to pay more than half the cost of getting a new system on any single repair. Another convenient measurement is to multiply the repair price by the age of the AC in years: if the result is more than 5,000, the repair is too expensive. 

Has the cost to run the AC risen steadily?

An air conditioner that has annual maintenance will retain 95% of its efficiency rating until the last one to two years of its life. You may see some rise in the cost to run your AC due to increases in electricity costs, but otherwise, the cost to run the system should remain steady. When operating costs keep rising, it’s a warning the AC is in a final decline.

Is the AC struggling to do its job?

The following problems in an older AC often indicate the system is almost done:

  • The house isn’t getting evenly cooled.
  • It requires constant fiddling with the thermostat to get comfortable.
  • The AC is making too much noise.
  • The AC has to run for longer than normal.
  • Indoor humidity is increasing.

We recommend getting in touch with our team for a consultation when you think your AC may have had its last summer. We can help find the answers.

Reach out to Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning for all your AC needs. “A Degree Above the Rest.”

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