Keeping your home cool in the warm summer months is essential, so you’ll want to make sure your air conditioning unit is operating efficiently. But if you have a unit that’s several years old, how do you know whether it’s better to repair it or replace it?
The average lifespan of an A/C unit is 10-15 years, if the unit is properly maintained throughout its life. Units that are not regularly maintained will see a significant decrease in their life, and they will also run less efficiently, resulting in higher energy bills. A unit’s lifespan can also vary depending on the state you live in and the workload placed on the unit.
So how can you make sure your unit is properly maintained and running efficiently? Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you understand how to make sure your air conditioning system operates efficiently for as long as possible:
How to tell if your unit isn’t operating efficiently
It can sometimes be obvious that an A/C unit isn’t operating correctly, especially if it seems to be running loudly, or if your energy bills are significantly higher than normal. But other, less obvious things to check include whether your home is being cooled evenly. Your air conditioner should be able to keep a consistent temperature throughout the house, so if some parts of the house are warmer than others, this is an indicator of an issue with your unit.
In addition, an air conditioner that is functioning correctly will remove humidity from the air in your home, so if you are noticing more moisture in the air than normal, this is another indication that the unit needs to be serviced.
How to prolong the life of your A/C unit
In order to make sure your air conditioner is functioning properly, make sure to keep the area around the unit clear so it can “breathe” properly, and so that repair technicians can service it easily. There should be approximately 2 feet of clearance around your unit.
If you suspect that there may be some issues with the unit, you can visually inspect it. Are the fins on the unit’s grill bent, keeping air from flowing freely? Is the unit full of debris? Are any of the wires on the unit frayed? Letting a technician know about these issues can help them know what needs to be done to repair your unit, or if you have strong DIY skills, you can perform a clean and check yourself to keep your unit running efficiently.
If you are having a technician come to your home to service your unit, you can help them make sure they are able to complete repairs correctly by telling them the make and model of your unit, when it was installed, and a clear explanation of any issues you are experiencing.
When should a unit be repaired, and when should it be replaced?
Depending on the age of your system, it may be preferable to replace your air conditioner rather than paying to repair it when it is likely to need more repairs in the near future. Our rule of thumb is; if the repair amount exceeds 25% of your system’s replacement value, our technicians are required to inform you of options for both repairing and replacing the equipment. This way, you can weigh your options and decide which option will be best for you.
Do you have any questions about maintaining, repairing, or replacing your air conditioning unit? Please contact us or call us at 630-694-1700.