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When to Replace Your Air Conditioner: 6 Factors to Consider

Published: September 11, 2013

small_6460660699We all wish that our air conditioners could last forever. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even the best air conditioners reach their expiration dates at some point, and it’s important to know when it makes sense to invest in a new unit. Need some help deciding when to replace your air conditioner? Below we’ve listed six important factors to consider!

When to replace your air conditioner: 6 factors to consider

  1. Age of your cooling system. The lifespan of an air conditioner can depend on all kinds of factors, especially how well it was maintained over its lifetime. As a general rule of thumb, however, if your air conditioner is over 10 years old and you’re facing serious or recurring problems, you should begin to consider replacing it.
  2. Efficiency rating of your cooling system. The minimum allowed SEER rating for new air conditioners was last updated in 2006, just 7 years ago. If you purchased an air conditioner before that, there’s a chance that it is highly inefficient by today’s standards. At the very least, your current system should have a SEER rating of 13 (the current mandated minimum), but ideally it’s SEER rating is 14.5 or above (the minimum to qualify for the Energy Star label). If your unit’s SEER rating is below those numbers, it’s time to consider replacing it.
  3. Your energy bills. Your energy bills can say a lot about the efficiency of your air conditioner, regardless of its SEER rating. That’s because air conditioners can lose efficiency over time, especially if they are poorly-maintained or experiencing performance problems. If your energy bills have been steadily rising year-after-year, installing a new and more efficient air conditioner will help lower your energy bills and recoup some of the costs of the new unit.
  4. Your home’s comfort levels. The whole reason you invest in an air conditioner and pay to keep it running is so that your home is comfortable. If your current air conditioner just can’t seem to do the job, regardless of any repairs you’ve made, consider replacing your air conditioner.
  5. Type of refrigerant used. Freon is being phased out by the federal government, and the costs of recharging your system with that refrigerant are skyrocketing. If you need to add a significant amount of Freon to your system, consider installing a new unit that uses a more efficient and government-approved refrigerant instead.
  6. Frequency and cost of repairs. Anytime you’re thinking about when to replace your air conditioner, there’s a good chance it’s because you need to make a repair. If your air conditioner requires expensive and/or frequent repairs, it often makes more financial sense to replace it with a new unit.

If you have any questions about when to replace your air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Tiger Services, your Glen Carbon area plumbing, heating and air conditioning company.

photo credit: hang_in_there via photopin cc

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