There are times when you wonder if your home needs a new air conditioner, especially now that it's the middle of summer and sweltering outdoor temperatures are giving your current A/C unit a tough workout. Deciding on a new A/C system can be a hard call, which is why you should consider the following signs.
1. Your A/C No Longer Cools Properly
After years of cooling like a champ, your A/C system suddenly finds cooling your entire home to be a challenge. Airflow at tepid temperatures and rooms that are suddenly warmer than others are common signs of an A/C system that's lost its cooling performance.
2. You Feel Only a Weak Breeze from Your A/C
Your A/C system works fine, but the airflow from its vents feels like it's coming through a straw. Weak airflow can be traced back to a number of culprits, from a blower fan motor that's on its last legs to electrical problems resulting in the motor receiving insufficient voltage. Ductwork problems can also lead to weak airflow in central A/C units.
Even a clogged air filter can cause weak airflow, which is why a thorough inspection from a skilled technician is essential before you throw in the towel on your old A/C unit. After the inspection, your HVAC tech can tell you if a new A/C system is in your future.
3. Your A/C Constantly Short Cycles
Short cycling happens when the A/C compressor repeatedly runs for a very short period, only to shut off and turn back on after a short time. The constant cycling can do a number on the compressor and, at the same time, rob your home of its cooling comfort. Short cycling often happens with oversized A/C units, although older units can also experience the same problem.
4. Your Utility Bills Creep Ever Higher
The older your air conditioner gets, the more energy it'll consume during its operation. You can blame ordinary wear and tear for your A/C's growing appetite. Aging components can add strain on an A/C unit, causing it to consume more energy just to provide its ordinary level of cooling. Also, keep in mind that older A/C units simply lack the top-notch efficiency of the latest and newest units on the market.
5. It's Been Years Since Your Last Replacement
When was the last time you replaced your air conditioner? Like most other appliances, A/C systems have a finite lifespan and will suffer degraded performance the closer they get to their retirement. Most units are meant to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, depending on overall maintenance and upkeep. If it's been over a decade since your last A/C replacement, then it's time to make purchasing a new unit your top priority.