Contrary to popular belief, your air conditioning system won't last forever. At some point, you'll have to consider replacing it with a newer and more energy-efficient model. So how will you know when it's the right time to give your current A/C system a permanent time-out? Here are a few common markers you can go by when it comes to replacing your air conditioning units.
When Your A/C is Over 10 Years Old
Most experts recommend that you consider replacing your home's A/C system after 10 years of service. There are plenty of A/C units that have withstood the test of time, but older units are nowhere near as energy efficient as their newer counterparts. An older A/C system that's well past its prime can also be a ticking time bomb -- you'll never know when it'll stop working and it could break down right when you need it most.
When A/C Breakdowns Become Commonplace
It's not out of the ordinary for an A/C system to break down under the various stresses of keeping your home cool and comfortable, especially as it ages. However, frequent breakdowns can indicate an A/C system that's on its last legs. If your A/C system spends more time under repair than it does cooling your home, you'll want to consider a replacement.
Frequent breakdowns can also be a drain on your household budget, especially since the cost of repairs for an older A/C system can easily exceed the cost of purchasing and installing a newer and more energy-efficient system. If you find yourself spending more money preparing an older A/C unit than it costs to simply install a new unit, you'll definitely want to consider that new unit instead.
When Your Energy Bills Skyrocket
An A/C system's average energy consumption can increase as it ages, due to constant wear and tear of various components within the unit. It's important to keep an eye on your cooling costs from year to year. If you've noticed a dramatic increase in your cooling costs recently, you may want to find out if your A/C is the culprit.
When You Can't Maintain Your Home's Usual Level of Comfort
Older A/C systems can experience a gradual loss of cooling capacity as they age. If you've noticed that your A/C is struggling to keep your home cool and you've done all you could to troubleshoot and fix the issue yourself, then you may want to consider an A/C replacement as your next step.