A/C Replacement: What to Consider Before You Take the Plunge

Posted On: June 06, 2014

Determining the best time to get a new air conditioner can be challenging. There are multiple factors that you need to consider together to make a decision that’s best for your home and wallet. Consider these signs that it’s time for an A/C replacement:

  • Old age. The service life of an A/C can vary greatly based on how well it’s maintained. However, even a unit that has been regularly serviced only functions at a high level for 12 to 15 years. If your A/C is approaching this range, it’s time to start thinking about, and preparing for, a replacement.
  • Frequent breakdowns. Having some occasional issues is not uncommon, but having more a significant issue every one or two cooling seasons is unusual. Before making a repair, decide if it’s worth the hassle, cost and time to justify it. Otherwise strongly consider replacing your A/C. The 50 percent rule dictates that you never spend more than half the cost of a new A/C on a repair.
  • Signs of damage. Big problems are almost always preceded by smaller, related issues. If there are obvious signs of rust or damage, usually on the outdoor condenser unit, it could be a sign that something bigger is about to break. This would be a good time to have it inspected by a professional, and may lead to a recommendation for a replacement.
  • Declining efficiency. Older units can become less efficient due to wear-and-tear and other issues related to lack of maintenance and/or general deterioration. At the same time, newer units have a higher capability to turn your electricity into cool air for your home. These two factors mean that a new, high-efficiency A/C could pay for itself over time from savings on your energy bills. If the math makes sense, replace your system.

If you need help determining if it’s time for an A/C replacement in your Alton or Highland area home, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We provide quality HVAC service to the Metro-East area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C replacements and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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