While a maximum air conditioner life span may be a decade or so, it’s likely that for much of that time, you could end up getting less-than-ideal comfort and performance. Factors that affect how long your Highland Park area home comfort system will last overall include:
- Model or brand
- How often you use the A/C
- How often you change the air filter (Neglecting to change the filter monthly can over-stress the air conditioner and make it old before its time.)
- Frequency of preventive maintenance
- How well it was sized initially
- Whether it was properly installed
Signs Your Air Conditioner Life Span Is Ending
- High humidity – In our part of the country, humidity control is essential for home comfort. Your typical air conditioner wasn’t really designed to be a great dehumidifier, so it’s no surprise if you’re suffering from the humidity at home. When you do decide to get a new home HVAC system, considering having whole-house dehumidification included. Your heating and cooling contractor can install an integrated humidity control device that works with the air conditioning system to keep you both cool and comfortably dry at home.
- High electric bills – This is a sign that your air conditioning system isn’t performing as well or as efficiently as it used to. It’s possible you may only need a semi-annual A/C and furnace tuneup to boost system performance to an acceptable level. Schedule a preventive maintenance visit with your HVAC contractor. After inspecting the system, your contractor can give you a recommendation about whether the annual tuneup will be effective to keep your system running another year. If your air conditioner life span is almost over, ask how much you could save on energy bills by replacing now.
- Frequent repairs – Nothing lasts forever. It may simply be time for your A/C to retire. When your cooling system starts to wear out due to old age, it will stop keeping your home as consistently cool as you would like. In addition, it will begin to need more frequent repairs or it may break down altogether in mid-summer. So plan ahead if your system is on its last legs.
- Age – In some cases, you could save so much on energy bills with a new and highly efficient A/C system that it might be worth replacing the air conditioner before it gives out completely. New systems are so much more efficient than a 10-year-old air conditioner that your new installation will begin paying for itself right away. Ask your local HVAC contractor to help you with the repair or replace mathematics.
- Hot spots – If your air conditioner never cools certain rooms and overcools others, you might benefit from a zoning system. This type of system can help you save energy while keeping all areas of the house comfortable. A zoning system can be added to the ductwork with your existing system or when you install a new system. Additional thermostats will also be installed to monitor each zone and they will all connect to one main control panel. Ask your local HVAC expert to inspect your A/C equipment and your duct system. One or the other (or both) may be responsible for your lack of temperature or humidity control, inadequate airflow or high energy bills.
- Noises – If your A/C is making strange sounds, you may need to get that tuneup discussed earlier. As HVAC systems age, they tend to get louder. Screws can work their way loose after awhile, parts can wear down and the system may need to be cleaned and oiled. The outdoor compressor unit can be especially noisy in an older system nearing the end of its air conditioner life span.
When it‘s time to choose a new cooling system, get your HVAC contractor involved early. A qualified technician will perform a precise load calculation to make sure you get a properly sized new system. Your contractor can also advise you on the most reliable and energy efficient models currently available.
For professional advice on air conditioner life span, a repair or replace dilemma or energy efficiency tips, contact the experts at Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning.
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