This summer, you’re probably running your air conditioner at full blast. But is it working at its peak potential? Or is it time to buy a new AC?
A professional technician will be able to tell you for certain. In the meantime, though, here are three signs that it’s time to buy a new air conditioner.
You Feel Hot Inside
Let’s get the most obvious sign out of the way: if your AC system is running, but all you feel is hot air, it may be time to start thinking about a replacement. But don’t start browsing “AC installations” and “how to install an AC” just yet.
There are numerous reasons your AC system is not cooling your home as it should. Many of these can be fixed by a trained technician without needing to replace the whole unit. For instance, your air conditioner might be low on fluid, or one specific component might need replacing.
Also, keep in mind that if a central component of the air conditioning system needs to be replaced, it may be smarter to just purchase a new unit–especially if you’ve recently repaired your AC unit and it’s already broken again. Your unit may just also need to be cleaned.
If your AC unit isn’t doing its job, take note of whether the air is too hot, whether it’s not blowing out of the vents strongly enough, or both. However, don’t make any hasty decisions until you receive a professional assessment.
Your Energy Bill Is Skyrocketing
Depending on your local climate, it’s natural to have higher energy bills at some points of the year than others. But if your energy bill is far higher than other summers, and you’ve eliminated all other possible factors, you may well need a new AC.
Air conditioning units last from 10 to 20 years. If your air conditioner is old, it’s probably working much harder than it used to have to, resulting in a utility spike for you. Getting a new AC is an investment in the short term, but it will save you money on energy bills for years to come.
Smells, Sounds, and Moisture
Okay, we kind of cheated and bundled three signs into one. But here’s a fundamental rule of air conditioners: they should produce clean-smelling air without much noise.
An AC unit should never chatter, grind, or squeak. These sounds mean that a central part of your unit’s machinery is probably broken. While this may be technically fixable, it’s probably best to invest in a new unit entirely.
If your air conditioner produces foul-smelling air, something is very wrong. Check if moisture is building up and leaking around the AC unit itself. If so, your air conditioner may be leaking refrigerant and you should have a professional inspect your unit as soon as possible. If you suspect that your AC unit is leaking chemicals, a technician will have to clean up the spill. Both of these are potentially dangerous matters, so don’t wait to deal with them.
Even if your air conditioner isn’t leaking chemicals, moisture buildup around the unit can lead to mold-infested air being blown into your home. This is another potential health risk that requires immediate attention.
Buying a new AC unit is probably not your idea of a “fun” purchase. But it is truly the best way to avoid overspending on utilities and keep you and your household comfortable and safe. Once you’re enjoying cool, clean, and quiet air conditioning in your home, you’ll wonder what you waited for.