Central air conditioning gives you an escape from the summer heat, but only if the system is working properly. If you feel your current air conditioning system isn't cutting it anymore, it may be time for a repair or total replacement. These five questions can help determine if getting a new air conditioning system is the best choice for your cooling needs.
How Old Is Your Current System?
The first and most important factor to consider is the age of your current system. On average, a central air conditioning system lasts about 10 to 15 years. Older systems are less efficient, which greatly affects how well they cool your home. If your system is older, you're better off replacing it.
A repair may work for a short time, but a new system will be much more efficient. Besides, you'll just be wasting your money on a short-term fix now and a total replacement in the near future. On the other hand, if your system is still young, a repair could go a long way in improving the quality of the system.
What Type of Refrigerant Does Your System Use?
Before January 1, 2010, most central air conditioning systems used the refrigerant R-22. The EPA, however, discovered this refrigerant damages the ozone layer. Manufacturers are no longer allowed to make air conditioning units that use R-22, but homeowners can still use them for the time being. If your system uses R-22, it may be better to just replace it, however, especially if it's old and you have a refrigerant leak, since repairs to these systems can be costly because the cost of R-22 is increasing.
Does Your System Break Down A Lot?
Your air conditioner should work well, even during peak use (the hottest days and hottest time of the day). One repair here and there is fine, but having a system that breaks down a lot isn't normal, and it may mean there is something wrong with the overall system.
If you've had to repair your system every summer, that trend is probably going to continue and worsen as the system ages. Instead of wasting your money on constant repairs, just purchase a new one. You may even end up saving money because you won't need so many costly repairs.
Is the Current System Just not Powerful Enough?
In some cases, your current system just may not be powerful enough to properly cool your home. Perhaps you purchased one not powerful enough for the size of your house, or perhaps it's getting old. If you've noticed that each summer, you have to turn the temperature down further to get adequate cooling, it's probably time to invest in a more powerful system. Similarly, if the hottest rooms in your house, such as those with west-facing windows, never get cool, you may just be wasting money with your current system.
Are Your Energy Bills on the Rise?
Increasing energy bills are a common sign that your air conditioner isn't working properly. This is because a poorly functioning air conditioning unit forces you to waste more energy to properly cool, and older systems suck energy more than modern ENERGY STAR systems. If your system is causing your energy bills to skyrocket, switch to an ENERGY STAR unit, which can save you up to 20 percent on your cooling costs.
Central air conditioning is a wonderful luxury, but if your system isn't working properly, it can become a big, expensive hassle. If you are tired of fighting with your old, inefficient system, it may be time to get a new one. For more information about getting a new air conditioner, contact heating and cooling services in your area today.