8 Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs To Be Replaced

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Your residential heating and cooling system is a significant investment for a good reason. It provides you with the utmost comfort when outside temperatures can be unforgiving.

Having an efficient air conditioning unit during the summer, for instance, helps improve sleep quality. Cold temperatures can also help increase productivity, primarily working from home or having kids with virtual classes.

When an air conditioner isn’t fully cooperating, it helps know if you need a new one. Below are the eight signs that your air conditioner needs a replacement. 

Designed living room
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

1. Frequent Breakdowns

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioner or HVAC maintenance should ideally be done at least once a year. Setting your unit for regular preventive maintenance helps increase its lifespan or spot potential issues before they worsen.

If this isn’t possible and you find calling your nearest heating and cooling professionals more often than you should, it can be a sign that it’s no longer serviceable. Purchasing a new one is cost-effective, being that you no longer have to rack up bills for frequent repairs.

2. Drastic Increase In Electricity Bills

There may be several reasons for an uptick in power bills, but if there’s no change in your consumption patterns, it could be a telltale sign of a problem. An air conditioning unit will have issues with efficiency for many internal and external reasons. You can check your insulation and temperature sealing properties or leaks in the system. Regardless, have the unit checked as it may be working past its expiration.  

3. Your AC Is Outdated

Most air conditioners work until they reach 15 years, some less than a decade. If it’s been about a decade or so since your air conditioning system installation and if you’re currently having problems with it, start shopping around for a new one.

Like other machines, an AC unit is subject to wear and tear. The older it gets, the more vulnerable it is to need repairs. Get a newer and much more efficient team to ensure you don’t waste money.

4. It Can’t Do Its Work

Wall with images in living room
Used with permission of Melanie Gowen

An air conditioner needs a fair amount of time to keep your room temperature low, especially when it’s scorching outside. If you’ve noticed, however, that the unit gives off warm instead of cold air, then you probably have to start looking for a new one.  

Air conditioners exist to give you comfort when the house gets too warm. That way, you spend a significant sum on HVAC replacement costs or installation. If you’re not feeling refreshed while using your AC unit, there has to be something wrong.

5. An AC That Turns On and Off Non-Stop

The air conditioner’s thermostat is crucial because it measures ambient temperature and adjusts the cooling intensity. More advanced HVAC systems have self-adjusting thermostats, while smartphones can control some.

No matter the type of system you have, a thermostat must communicate and control the air conditioner. Moreover, if you notice your unit turning on and off and shutting for several minutes or some sections aren’t cooled well, these can be signs that either your thermostat or AC is failing and you need a new AC fast.

6. You Hear Strange Noises

Air conditioners may not be the most silent of all electrical devices. But it shouldn’t be the noisiest too, especially if it’s working well. Grinding, scraping, and other types of irritating noises generated by your air conditioner is a red flag. These sounds may indicate something wrong with the motor or parts and forget about getting your cooling unit fixed. 

7. Your AC Smells Funny

View from the hall, living room with round chandelier, chair and window with curtains
Used with permission of Colleen Duffley

If you’ve had your air conditioner for quite some time and it starts smelling weird, it can be a sign that the unit needs a replacement rather than a repair. For instance, if your AC unit smells like car exhaust, the refrigerants may be leaking. Similarly, a burnt smell might indicate a serious electrical issue, while a musty odor could mean molds forming inside the unit or ducts. In these cases, a replacement may be to preserve safety and health. The same is true if you see molds forming near the walls where the AC is placed. 

8. Weak Air Flow

Your air conditioner may show signs of weak airflow before emitting warm air in some cases. When the former happens, you notice cold air blowing when you turn on the unit, but the emission is so weak it can’t circulate in your living space, leading to weak energy efficiency and high energy bills. A faulty compressor is likely to blame, and you may be better of buying a new unit than having the compressor replaced.

Conclusion

As a complex heating and cooling mechanism, your HVAC system can fail for several reasons. The same holds for an air conditioner consisting of several individual and interconnected parts. 

Hopefully, the red flags discussed earlier will serve as a guide in helping you recognize potential problems with your air conditioner. While yearly maintenance is needed to help your unit stay in top shape, it helps to know what to look out for in your cooling system to decide how to move forward.

Thanks to eandvenergy.com for consulting.

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