It’s that time of year again when the weather warms up and you turn on your air conditioning unit. But ifÂ your system acts unusual once you turn it on, should you repair it or replace it?
Deciding when to replace your system isn’t an exact science. However, getting a new AC system does comeÂ with a number of benefits. In many cases, it’s better to replace your finicky unit before it causes a majorÂ problem.
If you’re unsure about when to replace your AC unit, here are a few signs you can look for.
1.Â If Your System Is Out of Date
Most air conditioning systems last 15 to 20 years. Once you have had your unit for 10 years, considerÂ saving up money to replace it. Most homeowners find that when they have time to plan ahead, they can buy aÂ newer system that runs more efficiently and saves them money.
If your unit experiences any kind of breakdown or doesn’t cool your home well, you should replace it withÂ a newer, more updated system.
Manufacturers constantly incorporate better technology into AC units. For instance, since 2010, mostÂ manufacturers include an updated refrigerant that doesn’t release ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon.Â ByÂ installing a new system, you can take advantage of these updated features that will increase efficiency,
protect the environment, and use half the electricity.
Many times, you will save money on utility bills by running a more efficient system.
2.Â If Your System Requires Constant Repairs
When you consider what condition your equipment is in, ask yourself how often it needs repairs. If youÂ find that you frequently need to repair the same problem or replace the same equipment, consider replacingÂ the entire system.
In fact, when repairs cost you up to 50% of what a new system would cost you, it’s time to get a newÂ system. Talk with an air conditioning technician or salesperson to figure out how much a new system wouldÂ cost you. You can also talk with the salesperson about current promotions that could reduce the price.
3.Â If Replacing Your System Will Save You Money
Many homeowners don’t realize that they can save money by replacing their AC unit. Many states offer taxÂ credits for homeowners who purchase high-efficiency systems. Some energy-efficient systems also qualify for aÂ federal tax credit.
You should also check for utility rebates when purchasing a new unit. Some utility companies offer rebatesÂ when you upgrade to more efficient units.
Replacing your system with a more efficient one can help you take advantage of these credits and rebatesÂ as well as save you money on your monthly utility bill.
4.Â If Replacing Your System Will Increase Energy Efficiency
Every air conditioner has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This ratio depicts how efficient anÂ AC unit is. All units must have a SEER rating of at least 13. However, there are many systems with higherÂ SEER ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system.
When you evaluate your current system or when you buy a new system, check the SEER score.Â You canÂ also tell how efficient your system is by your utility bill. Older, less-efficient units often use twice theÂ amount of electricity as newer systems.
5.Â If You’ve TriedÂ RepairingÂ Your Ductwork Already
Even if you have a brand-new AC unit, you could still feel uncomfortably hot in your home if your ductworkÂ is leaky. Most homes’ ductwork will leak up to 30% of its air before the air reaches your living space.
Have a technician run a duct-leakage test to determine if you need repairs on your ductwork. If necessary,Â a technician can locate and seal gaps along your ducts to increase your AC unit’s efficiency. In cases ofÂ extreme ductwork damage, your technician may recommend replacing your ductwork with new pipes.
Fixing your ductwork may resolve your AC concerns. However, if you fix your ductwork but still can’tÂ regulate the temperature in yourÂ home, your AC system is likely the problem.
Use these tips to determine when you should replace your AC unit. If you think it’s time for aÂ replacement, call an air conditioner technician. He or she can help you assess the condition of your airÂ conditioner and give you an estimated price for replacement.