Even the most well-built heating and cooling equipment isn’t going to last forever. Over time, wear and tear from general use will slowly eat away at important components, resulting in added friction, reduced efficiency, and ultimately failure which causes your entire system to stop working. While repairs can get things moving again, it’ll only be a matter of time before something else will break, requiring more repairs. This vicious cycle becomes more and more frequent until you’re finally left wondering whether your system will ever work at it once did again.
This isn’t all that uncommon, and simply means that you’ll need to replace your air conditioner after a while. In general, an average air conditioning and heating system will last anywhere from 10 to 15 years before needing replacement, and sometimes even longer if you treat your system well and take good care of it. But how do you know it’s time to replace your heating and cooling system rather than just having it repaired? If you pay close attention, your system will tell you by showing you a few signs that it’s time to replace.
Here are four of these signs that may indicate it’s time to replace your air conditioning and heating system.
1. HVAC System Age
The first sign that you should consider replacement instead of a repair is the age of your HVAC equipment. As we stated previously, an older system is more prone to breaking down, and the older it gets, the more prone to these issues it becomes. When your system is 10 years old or more, the question of whether or not a repair will only temporarily fix your issue becomes even more pressing, and it may simply become wiser to completely replace your system.
Do you know how old your current air conditioner is? If not, there should be a manufacture date on the label located on the side of both your indoor and outdoor unit. If your manufacture date is more than 10 to 12 years old, then there’s a good chance your air conditioner will need to be completely replaced soon. Keep this in mind the next time you need to schedule a repair.
2. Expensive Repair Services
Older systems have more expensive repairs—it’s an unfortunate and inconvenient fact that most homeowners with older equipment have to deal with. Over time, major components such as your compressor or air handler need to be replaced, which means you’ll need to buy replacement parts specific to your system. Since parts may be hard to come by, getting the replacement parts may not be cheap. If your system is particularly old, you may not even be able to find direct replacements and will instead have to use an aftermarket part to get things working again. And that means your repair is going to be expensive.
If you need to get a repair for an older system that’s going to cost you more than $1,000, then you may be better off simply putting that money towards a new system. While your $1,000 repair may get your system working again today, there’s no telling how much your repair is going to cost next time, or the time after that. By replacing your system completely, you’ll avoid the need for further expensive repairs in the near future, which keeps more money in your pocket.
3. Freon Refrigerant
Back in 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency outright banned the import and sale of air conditioning and heat pump systems which came pre-charged with R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon. Freon has long been known to be toxic and harmful to the environment, which has prompted strict crackdowns on the sale and production of the substance. Most systems that are manufactured now don’t even use the stuff anymore, which now means that Freon itself is becoming harder and harder to find.
Because of this dwindling supply, costs for Freon refrigerant have spiked. Whereas modern refrigerants can cost around $15 per pound or so, Freon can be as much as $80 to $100 per pound when you factor in the labor to charge your system with it. Even simple, routine maintenance at that cost can be a huge expense—one which can be avoided if you simply replace your system with a new unit. If your system is still running on Freon, we highly advise considering this replacement.
4. Soaring Energy Bills
Have your energy bills ballooned with no real explanation or reason behind it? This could be a sign that your air conditioner or heater needs more power to do the same amount of work. This is usually caused by inefficient and worn-out parts which require more energy to do their job. To make matters worse, this effect usually only snowballs with age and leads to more and more energy being used, which means even greater cost to keep your home cool. Before you know it, you’re paying a ton of money for heating and cooling. If you’re tired of out-of-control energy bills when heating or cooling your home, we encourage you to have your air conditioner replaced by the Longview air conditioning and heating installation experts on our staff.
Call Rawhide Electric Services at (360) 382-1180 today if you would like more information about a complete HVAC replacement.