There are plenty of things in life that are worth holding onto. Unfortunately, the same can't quite be said about the average central A/C system. Although it's normal to expect years of reliable service, many homeowners make the mistake of holding onto their A/C systems for far longer than they should. Keeping an A/C system for too long often becomes a costly and time-consuming mistake.
If you're holding onto your old central A/C system, then consider these 5 reasons for letting go of your old unit.
Reason #1: It's Well Past Its Recommended Lifespan
Although it seems like your air conditioner can last forever, it has a finite lifespan just like every other appliance in your home. Most manufacturers expect their central A/C systems to last for roughly 15 to 20 years. This figure can vary depending on how well you maintain your central A/C system, and there are plenty of A/C systems that have managed to last for several decades with rigorous upkeep. Nevertheless, most experts recommend replacing your central A/C system if it's over 10 years old.
Reason #2: It Doesn't Perform as Well as It Used To
It's not unusual for an A/C system's overall performance to decline as it ages. This can have an effect on how long it takes to bring indoor temperatures down to comfortable levels on a hot day. If you've notice that it's taking longer for your A/C system to cool your home and you've already tried various solutions to improve its performance, then you may want to consider replacing it with a brand-new central A/C unit.
Reason #3: Your Energy Bill Will Thank You
It's no secret that older central A/C systems tend to be less energy-efficient than their newer counterparts. For starters, older A/C systems were designed using outdated or obsolete standards that aren't as energy-efficient as the newer standards currently in place. For instance, older A/C systems designed to use R-22 refrigerant and less-efficient compressors lack the energy efficiency that newer systems designed for R-410a offer.
The older your central A/C system gets, the more likely it is to consume more energy just to provide the same level of performance. Cumulative wear and tear as well as natural aging of various A/C components can result in higher energy consumption.
Keep in mind that the latest A/C systems use up to 50 percent less energy to provide the same cooling performance as an A/C unit built during the mid-1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Switching to a newer A/C system could cut your cooling costs by 20 to 40 percent.
Reason #4: It Costs a Bundle to Repair
Keeping an old A/C system alive could prove to be an expensive endeavor. Most HVAC contractors charge a pretty penny for repairing older A/C systems, usually due to parts being much harder to find and the sheer amount of time and effort required for many repairs. The end result is a repair that could cost much more than the going price for buying and installing a new A/C system.
A good rule of thumb is to find out how much it costs to purchase and install a new central A/C system and then multiply the age of your current unit by the quoted repair cost. If the multiplied cost of repairs exceeds the cost of a new unit, then you'll definitely want to consider replacing your A/C system.
Reason #5: Newer A/C Systems Offer Newer and Improved Features
Holding on to an old A/C system for decades on end means missing out on the latest in energy-saving and comfort-improving features. For instance, many new A/C systems feature variable-speed blower fans with electronically commutated motor (ECM) technology. This technology makes it easier for you to adjust HVAC settings to your exact preference. Today's central A/C systems also feature improved humidity control, indoor air quality management and reduced noise.
For more information, talk with professional HVAC contractors in your area, like McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning.
A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.