It’s the time of year when Arizona homeowners start wondering whether they should replace their air conditioners. How long can that old A/C keep doing a good job?
A/C’s are a lot like cars. Usually, they can last 10 to 15 years. But after a while, parts wear out and are often pricey to replace.
Your air conditioner can often be fixed if parts are still available and if you want to go the repair route. But those parts can be costly. A motor can go for $500 to $600; a compressor can cost $2,000 to $3,000.
With air conditioners built before 2010, the cost of the type of Freon or refrigerant used in these units increases all the time. “It used to cost $20 a pound; it’s up to $75 a pound now; and it’s going higher,” “Some systems need only four or five pounds, but some can need as much as 15 or 16.”
So just as with an older car, you start asking yourself, “Is it more costly in the long run to buy those parts or to buy a new air conditioning system which will be more efficient and save me money on electricity every month?”
If you do decide to replace instead of repair, the work can be done quickly. It’s not going to take weeks to start cooling your house off even if a technician has to go up into your hot, 120-degree attic to install a new one. Most HVAC systems can be replaced and cooling your home in eight or nine hours of work.
As a homeowner, you can keep your air conditioner running more efficiently by changing the filters on your air intakes more frequently. You will also want to have an air conditioning technician come to your home in spring before it gets hot to check out your system.
The earlier you catch a problem and repair it, the smaller that problem will be. A technician can check to be sure your system has the proper refrigerant levels and can test for leaks. He can inspect electric terminals and clean and tighten connections.
As the summer wears on, however, one sign that you may have to call a repair company is that the air conditioner can’t lower the temperature in the room.
“You set the thermostat at 75 and it only drops to 78,” she said, even though the blower motor is running all the time.
Here are some other signs that indicate your air conditioner is struggling:
- Your power bills are going up higher than they’ve been before during the summer months.
- If a circuit breaker on your electrical panel pops when the A/C comes on, try to move it back into the “on” position. Only do this once. If it doesn’t work, your system may have a short circuit or perhaps your electrical system needs repairs.
- You hear an odd noise when it’s running. Even worse, you smell or see smoke.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs and are interested in maybe replacing your current unit contact us today and we can schedule a no risk visit to your home to check out your systems. Our technicians are not paid on commission so you will not have to worry about us trying to sell you a new unit if repairs are the best cost effective route for you to take at this time. If it would be more cost effective for your unit to be replaced we will let you know and be happy to take care of that for you as well.