How To Tell If You Need To Replace Your Repair Your Air Conditioner
When the AC stops working in the dead of summer, your main concern is getting it back on so you and your family can stay cool, comfortable, and safe. But, sometimes, there’s a bigger question: Should you have your system repaired again, or are you better off investing in an AC replacement this time?
It’s often a tough decision, especially when the system stops working during a heat wave. But, approaching the situation with a little bit of knowledge — and a trusted HVAC contractor — will help you make the right choice.
We’re here to help you with both. John Cipollone, Inc has served the Main Line for more than 65 years, and we’re happy to help you even before you call or email someone for repairs.
This article covers the first signs of an air conditioner problem, so you can hopefully catch it before things get worse. Then, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of repairing your system versus replacing it.
And, if you’re in Radnor, PA, Havertown, Springfield, or other nearby MontCo neighborhoods, call us today at (610) 446-7877 with any questions or concerns.
Four Signs You Need AC Repair
Here are four often subtle signs that you need to call for AC repair:
- Warm Spots In The House
- Increased Humidity
- AC Keeps Turning On And Off
- Electric Bill Suddenly Goes Up
Warm Spots In The House
If the central air could keep you cool before, then it should keep doing it. If it’s not, there’s likely a mechanical problem preventing it from circulating enough air.
It’s not that it can’t cool the air that passes through it. Instead, it can’t draw enough air in and blow it back out the way it should.
Your air conditioner also dehumidifies the air as it cools it. Removing that moisture helps keep the temperature down while also making you more comfortable.
So, if the house suddenly feels like a sauna (or even just a little sticky), a faulty AC is probably to blame. And it’s for the same reason: Your central air isn’t drawing in, treating, and recirculating enough air.
AC Keeps Turning On And Off
Your central air should turn on for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, two or three times an hour. If it’s clicking on and off every few minutes, something’s wrong. Once again, the common culprit is not enough airflow.
In this case, the thermostat tells it to turn on because the house is too hot. But, the system can’t function, so as a failsafe, it shuts off. Then the cycle continues.
Electric Bill Suddenly Goes Up
This one is more subtle and usually occurs with the other problems we mentioned: Your electric bill is suddenly higher than usual — even for August. The reason? Your AC uses more power as it struggles to do the job.
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner?
The three big factors that determine when you need to replace your air conditioner instead of repairing it are:
- Age Of The Unit
- How Often It Breaks Down
- If It Needs A Recharge
There’s no hard-and-fast rule or calculation you can run that tells you whether it’s time to replace your AC. But, these are the factors your HVAC contractor will consider when helping you decide.
Age Of The Unit
The age of your system goes a long way in determining whether it’s worth repairing. Most central air systems last fifteen years or twenty years with proper care and maintenance. And their warranties often expire in a decade.
So, anything under ten years old is almost always worth repairing. It should still have a lot of life, and some costs may be covered.
But, if it’s reaching the end of its service life, why bother throwing more money into it? You’re probably better off getting a new one. A new model comparable to your older system will use less electricity thanks to technological improvements.
That way, you’ll start saving money on your bills — and, usually, on repair calls, too.
How Often It Breaks Down
Are you calling your HVAC contractor for AC repairs once a summer? Maybe more? Do you remember a time when you went years without needing that service? If so, you’re probably due for a new system.
Any machine nearing the end of its service life begins breaking down, and your central air is no exception. At some point, you’re better off investing in a new system that can reduce your energy bills over the next fifteen years instead of continuing to pour money into repairing an old, less-efficient AC.
If It Needs A Recharge
A coolant leak that requires a recharge does not automatically mean you need a new AC — unless you bought it before 2010. If so, this problem is too expensive to bother fixing.
Back in 2010, the EPA phased out R22 Freon as the coolant in air conditioners. Anything made after that year used R410A, and Freon production tapered off until it stopped entirely in 2020.
Now, what little supply that’s left is prohibitively expensive. And a system that still uses it is well over ten years old. The age of the system, plus the price of the coolant, make it not worth the money to repair and recharge.
AC Replacement In Radnor, PA And On The Main Line
John Cipollone, Inc. has been the trusted name for AC replacement in Radnor, PA and across the Main Line since 1953. We’ve handled furnace and air conditioner repairs and installations for countless homes and businesses. Click below or call (610) 446-7877 to set an appointment.