What Are the Signs That I Need a New Air Conditioner?

By Erin Hynes | Nov. 10, 2021 6:37 am PST

Woman fanning herself

When it’s hot out, you want your central air conditioner to work well. And while having a service technician tune up your AC in spring helps keep your AC running for many years, eventually your AC unit will start wearing out. Then you have to decide whether to replace your air conditioner.

Here are some ways to know when it’s time to start shopping for a new AC.

Your Air Conditioner Is More Than 15 Years Old

Even if you schedule an AC tune up religiously every spring, some parts are likely to wear out after about 15 years. If you notice that your air conditioner isn’t keeping your home cool during hot weather or it begins breaking down every year or two, then it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with an HVAC expert to talk about replacing your central air conditioner.

The AC Needs Repairs Every Year or So

Frequent repairs are often an indication that your central air conditioner will need to be replaced soon—especially when your unit is over 10 years old. You’ll likely be better off spending money on a new AC rather than continuing to pay mounting repair bills. Also, buying a new air conditioner will help prevent breakdowns in the middle of summer—when doing without an air conditioner even for a short time is impossible.

Skyrocketing Electric Bills

You can reasonably expect that your electric bills will be higher during summer months when your AC runs more frequently. When you start seeing summer electric bills that are more than $100 higher than previous years’ bills, it’s certainly time to take action. Schedule an HVAC expert to examine your current air conditioner and assess your needs for a new unit. You’ll find that a new AC will run more efficiently and you’ll save money in the long run by not having to pay inflated electricity costs.

Your Home Isn’t as Cool as It Should Be

You typically notice immediately when your home isn’t as comfortable as you expect. When your air conditioner doesn’t cool down your house down like it used to, the unit may have a refrigerant leak or an aging compressor. When your system is over 15 years old, it may be more economical to replace the AC rather than repair it.

Compressor replacement and refrigerant system repairs can be expensive—sometimes costing as much as half the price of a new system. Even if your air conditioner needs a less expensive repair to restore proper cooling, you may consider replacing the system rather than repairing it when it’s older than 15 years.

Your Air Conditioner Is Making Funny Noises

Central air conditioners are designed to run quietly. When you begin hearing banging, rattling, squeaking or squealing noises coming from your AC, the unit could be showing signs of excessive wear. Don’t ignore a noisy air conditioner. Schedule service immediately, or consider replacing your air conditioner if you’ve had it more than 10 years.

Sears Home Services offers you credit of up to 10% toward a replacement AC unit for every dollar you spend on HVAC repair and maintenance. Don’t pass up this type of savings if you choose to repair your AC system one last time before replacement.

Replacing your air conditioner is an important decision and should only happen after careful consideration and consultation with an HVAC expert. When your AC is over 10 to 15 years old and you begin seeing the warning signs listed above, schedule a free appointment with a Sears HVAC installation and replacement expert to keep your home comfortable during summer.

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