HVAC systems, like cars, can vary in just how long they last. There a certain variables and factors that can either lengthen or shorten the lifespan of your equipment. For example, with regular twice-per-year maintenance, a typical split AC unit can last between 10 and 15 years. That might beg the question of exactly how you will know when to replace your system. In general, if your unit is aged 10 years or older, it may be time to start thinking about replacing it. But, to help you, here are some definite signs that you need to go ahead and invest in a new HVAC system.
- Your energy bills are higher than usual. Air conditioning systems, like anything else, break down with age. The older your unit is, the longer it has to run to keep up with the temperatures to heat or cool your home, making for higher costs to run the air conditioner. If your unit runs practically non-stop, and the temperatures in your home only seem go up, or it sits on a certain temperature, it may be due for an upgrade. There are other factors that play into inefficiency in HVAC systems. If your home is in an area void of trees and shade, for instance, the sunlight coming into your home will naturally heat it up more quickly. If your home is older or not insulated well, it can also result in inefficient heating and cooling. You may also need to check to be sure you have changed your air filter. If a filter is dirty, less air can get through to your system’s air handler, causing the fan to run longer. Dirty filters can cause more condensation to build up on the evaporator coils, leading to your system freezing up and stopping. A dirty air filter will also fill and overflow the drip pan, which will stop your system from cooling. It is important to change your filter monthly! If you have changed your filter and your home is not affected by its surroundings, then it is probably a safe bet that you may need a new unit.
- Your system makes a lot of noise. As components in your system wear down over time, the unit will begin to make more noise. It may hum, rattle, grind, shake, etc. Regular maintenance and having parts under warranty will help to keep an older system running, but often it can be cheaper and more economical to replace the system rather than pay the labor costs to have new components put in as well as for frequent service calls to repair — especially if your unit is more than 10 years old.
- You have an R22 unit. R22 refrigerant is currently being phased out by the government. It will be totally out of production after 2020, replaced by a more environmentally-safe refrigerant. If your air conditioning unit was installed in the early 2000s or prior to 2010, it uses R22 refrigerant. With still a couple of years before the total phase out, it is not necessarily an imperative to replace now, but it is also not something to procrastinate too long on.
Hopefully you have found these tips helpful in knowing what to listen and look for to tell you when you might need to replace your HVAC system. Should you decide to replace, we are more than happy to set you up with a free quote. All you have to do is give The Team You Can Trust a call and it will be our pleasure to set you up with an appointment with our Comfort Adviser.