Your air conditioner (AC) will lose some of its cooling power as it ages. In fact, there will come a point when it's best (for both comfort and energy efficiency) to replace the AC, even if it has not completely broken down. Below are some of the signs that mean your AC is too old and you should replace it.
Refrigerant leaks are dangerous because they reduce the effective cooling of the AC. It is the refrigerant that carries heat out of the house to cool your indoor air. Refrigerant leaks can affect both new and old ACs, but they are more likely to face old systems.
For example, corrosion is a common cause of refrigerant leakage. Exposure to high humidity and chemicals increases the risk of corrosion. However, corrosion damage doesn't occur over time; it builds up slowly over time. After some time, the corroded parts of the refrigerant lines can develop holes or cracks that can leak refrigerant.
Many parts of an AC run on electricity. The thermostat, fan motor, start capacitor, and mainboard are some parts that operate on electricity. Unfortunately, electrical components deteriorate with time, and when they do, they lose their efficiency. Electrical connections loosen, materials degrade, and metal corrodes – all these affect the operations of the electrical and electronic parts of the AC, which in turn affect the operation of the whole system.
For example, a degraded start capacitor might not be able to provide the power needed to start the AC. The AC will struggle to start and your house might not cool as fast as you need it to.
If your AC is not cooling the house as well as it should, whether it is due to electrical or refrigerant issues, then the AC system will tend to get overworked. This is because an AC is designed to run until the target or set temperature is reached. If the AC is operating with a decreased efficiency, it will run longer cycles as usual in a bid to cool the house. The extra work will accelerate the AC's wear and tear, leading to frequent breakdowns.
Many people don't really want to know how their ACs operate; they just want their homes to be at comfortable temperatures. Unfortunately, that might not be the case if the AC is aging and expecting the malfunctions above. You may experience cold and hot spots in the house or you might contend with low warm temperatures even when the AC is running.
To learn more about air conditioning systems, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.
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.