It’s easy to know when your every-day objects need to be replaced: your car battery when it dies; your phone when it breaks; milk when it’s two weeks past its expiration date, and it starts to smell unpleasant. But how can you tell when larger parts of your home need to be replaced when they aren’t noticed as often? What about, for instance, a dying A/C unit? That can be a little trickier.

There are a few things you can take into consideration when making this determination for your air conditioning unit.

  • Age: Typical air conditioning systems can last between fifteen to twenty years. Around year ten, you should begin to keep an eye on it for signs of the end of its life. However, just because it reaches that time frame, it does not mean it automatically needs to be replaced. If your energy bills are still where they should be, and there are no leaks in the system, there’s no need to worry about replacing it.
  • Efficiency: If you’ve noticed your energy costs steadily increasing, that’s a definite sign of a working-too-hard, dying A/C system. In the past several years, many improvements have been made to new units, including a new standard for their SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, so a new system will bring your energy consumption down to a much more reasonable level. The size of your unit should be taken into account as well: if it’s too large, it won’t resolve any humidity problems in the home; and if it’s too small, it won’t be able to keep up with temperature settings, causing it to work too hard. However, an old system is not the only possibility for high energy bills – duct leakage can also contribute to this problem. Have a licensed HVAC technician run a test on the ductwork to confirm; if that’s not the problem, it’s time for a new A/C unit.
  • Repair costs: If you feel like you’re continually dialing up your local HVAC technician to make a house call, chances are you have a dying A/C system on your hands. The cost of constant repair calls can really begin to add up. You’ll want to compare the cost of your repairs and the cost of a new unit; if you feel like you would save money in the long-run by replacing the unit (and factoring in the savings you’d get from a new, energy-efficient system), then you should begin pricing out a replacement.

Replacing your furnace at the same time will be to your benefit as well – hooking up an old furnace to a new A/C unit could possibly prevent the unit from functioning at its full capacity, bringing down its efficiency.

Stack Heating, Cooling & Electric has been serving the greater Cleveland area since 1976. We value our customer relationships and look forward to working with you! Give us a call today to schedule your appointment with a professional local electrician or HVAC contractor.

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