No machine lasts forever, and air conditioning systems are no exception. Eventually, normal wear will cause even top-of-the-line models to become less efficient or stop functioning entirely.
Knowing how to tell when your AC is at the end of its life is key to ensuring a comfortable home or workplace for your family or staff in Murrieta, and avoiding spending time and money on ineffective air conditioner repair.
In this article, we’ll help you do just that by listing 9 major signs of an air conditioner that’s past its prime and should be replaced. Read on to learn more.
How long should an air conditioner last?
Modern air conditioners that receive their yearly maintenance service should last at least 10-15 years. What’s more, with regular tuneups and occasional repairs, even a unit that’s over a decade old or older can still be expected to last for many more years.
That being said, keep in mind that older models that have suffered significant wear and tear are going to naturally be less energy-efficient than their newer counterparts. In these cases, you may want to start thinking about a replacement even if your AC isn’t faulty, as the increased energy efficiency is likely to ensure greater long-term savings than if you simply held on to the old unit.
Likewise, if your air conditioner is using a discontinued refrigerant such as R-22 Freon, you probably won’t be able to refill the refrigerant once it runs out. This is another case where getting a new AC may be the more financially viable decision.
How do you know if your air conditioner is dying?
It should be noted that many of the issues in the list below can be prevented by keeping an eye out for common AC problems and addressing them as needed. This is one of the many reasons why booking annual AC maintenance services is so beneficial.
Here are 9 major signs your AC is at the end of its service life:
1. It’s long in the tooth
As stated above, the expected lifespan of an air conditioner is 10-15 years. If your unit is around this age or older, it’s usually not worth repairing once it malfunctions unless the necessary repairs are minor.
2. It breaks down frequently
Like other machines, air conditioners tend to be more likely to malfunction as they near the end of their life. Instead of spending inordinate amounts of time and money on repairs, it’s generally recommended to retire the aging system and replace it with a new, more cost-effective alternative.
3. The electric bills are unusually high
It’s normal for an air conditioner to increase your electric bill during the cooling season. However, if your electric bill has suddenly skyrocketed, your AC may be to blame. Have it checked by a registered technician and, if it turns out AC is the culprit, start thinking about a replacement.
4. It’s running constantly
Air conditioners are designed to run in timed cycles to conserve energy while also providing the necessary cooling. In mild weather conditions, a correctly sized unit should generally cycle 2-3 times per hour. A system that’s running non-stop is either low on refrigerant, or seriously damaged in some way.
5. The circuit breaker is tripping constantly
If your circuit breaker trips repeatedly when you try to use your AC, there’s a significant chance that there are serious problems with the electric components. If this is the case, it’s time to start thinking about getting a new cooling system.
6. The compressor has failed
In split-system ACs, the compressor is the big outdoor unit that sits in your backyard or at the exterior side of the building. Although it’s technically possible to replace a dead compressor with an exact same model, this is usually either impractical or too cost-inefficient compared to simply getting a whole new unit.
Signs of a dying compressor include:
- Growling, clattering, or screeching noises
- AC won’t start or takes a very long time to do so
- AC stops blowing cold air
- Reduced airflow
7. The evaporator coils have broken down
Failing to replace or wash the AC’s air filters in a timely manner will result in reduced airflow, and dust and dirt buildup within the unit. If left unaddressed for long enough, this issue will eventually cause the evaporator coils to freeze over. This will put additional strain on the system, causing it to eventually lose the ability to function correctly.
8. Key components are worn out
Time and normal use will slowly degrade the individual parts of an air conditioner. If multiple key components such as the compressor, evaporator coil, and the motor have become heavily worn down, the cost of replacing them is usually too high to be worth it. If this is your situation, a full AC replacement may be the recommended option.
9. It has suffered serious damage
Accidents, harsh weather, earthquakes, animals inside the outdoor unit, and other unexpected events can all cause your air conditioner to become physically damaged in some way. Depending on the extent of the damage, this can spell the end for your AC.
Who in Murrieta and the vicinity provides expert-level air conditioner repair?
Since 1975, Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar has been providing high-quality AC and heating repair, maintenance, installation, and replacement services to private and public clients across Murrieta, San Diego, Del Mar, Oceanside, Santa Fe, Temecula, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, and other communities in San Diego and Riverside Counties.
We have a strict recruitment process that ensures we hire certified and passionate experts who are well-versed in both older AC technologies and the cutting-edge air conditioning solutions. They will happily deal with whatever HVAC-related problem you may have while you relax with an interesting book from the Murrieta Public Library.
Reach out to us and request your free quote and diagnosis for your residential and commercial heating and cooling systems today.