When to Replace Your Central Air Conditioner?

In a time when most buildings are equipped with an HVAC system, we often take central air conditioning for granted. Only when we have to go without do we realize just how important they are to our everyday lives and how critical it is to repair or replace when necessary. To ensure you always have a reliable and efficient unit that provides your home or building with a high level of performance, knowing the signs and symptoms that indicate when a replacement is required is well-advised. These factors play a huge role in not only providing you with a quality unit, but also in determining operating costs and its overall impact on the environment.


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Age-Related Signs

If you’ve had your air conditioning unit for less than 10 years, the good news is that it’s not yet considered old by most standards. After the first 10 years, however, you’ll want to start considering your options for the future. Though there is no hard and fast rule for how the age of your unit affects its functionality, around the 10 year mark is a good time to assess its state—just as some units will last much longer, you may be lucky to get a decade of use out of others before they begin to fail.

Signs of age can include the increased frequency of service and repairs, higher than normal energy bills, inconsistent temperatures throughout your home and excessive accumulation of dust, among others. In short, if your unit is not working correctly, you’ll notice small signs like these becoming the norm. In an event such as this, it’s wise to begin weighing your options and budgeting for a replacement.

Installing New AC is Cheaper Than Repairing Old Model

Even if your unit isn’t showing any noticeable signs of failing, you may still want to consider replacing it with a high-efficiency unit that can save you loads on your heating and cooling costs. Older A/C units, though commonplace a decade ago, no longer meet the high standards of energy efficiency that newer units are so easily capable of. Requiring less energy for the same job, new and certified air conditioning units can stand to save you thousands of dollars over time. A new unit is an investment, of course, but its initial price can be greatly offset by a reduced monthly energy bill payment and lower operating costs. Furthermore, lessening your energy use can help to reduce your carbon footprint, but luckily without reducing functionality—it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

It’s also important to note that the cost of repairing an older unit is also beginning to outweigh the cost a of new one altogether. For example, liquid coolants, especially those that are slowly being phased out in the U.S., are quite costly per gallon and that’s before even factoring in repair and labor costs. If you have a contractor out to your home every other week to diagnose a new problem, odds are you’d be better off replacing your unit with something new.


If you’re wondering when it’s time to think about replacing your own air conditioning unit, try checking it against these common issues. If you find it’s still running smoothly and it’s under 10 years old, you’re likely in the clear. If you’re beginning to notice small signs of under-performance, however, it’s time to start thinking of a replacement. Talk to a trusted expert who can assist you with your needs and you’ll not only come away with a high quality unit, but you’ll begin to save money and energy too.

3 thoughts on “When to Replace Your Central Air Conditioner?”

  1. I have had my a.c. unit since 2006. I have had the capacitor replaced 3 times. Also compressor replaced 2 yrs ago. Seems like every year someone has to come out and do something. I had a guy come out today and quoted me a price of a new one for $11,000. I need some help.


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