How Often Do You Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

How Do I Know if My AC is Broken?

Are you ready to buy an air conditioner replacement? Here in the southern part of the country, we have already had a few days of summer-like weather. Hot, humid, muggy, and sticky. Many homeowners in Georgia and surrounding southern states have already turned on their air conditioning, and some have already found they need to replace an air conditioner.

 Yes, the first day it hit 90 degrees, some homeowners turned on their air conditioner only to be met by hot air blowing or a loud, obnoxious noise or no noise. So, they are now shopping for an air conditioner replacement, comparing replacement cost estimates, and wishing they had been better equipped and informed.

 As a homeowner, you never want to experience a broken air conditioner during the summer. You can take a cold shower, but it won’t help for long, sleeping is impossible, and all you can think about is an air conditioner replacement.

Were there any indications this was about to happen that you ignored? No two homes are the same when it comes to the air conditioning system. The ductwork and insulation are going to vary, which side of your house has the most sun exposure, the age of the current system, and how each homeowner uses theirs, and maintain it with air filter replacement and more. These are all things that can make a difference in the lifespan of your air conditioner.

With the help of HVAC Webmasters, we’ve compiled some tell-tale signs that may have saved those folks from paying for an air conditioner replacement:

  • The digital thermostat display is blank or doesn’t have power
  • Loud or unusual noises coming from the air conditioning equipment
  • Water is leaking from the interior part of the unit or if an attic unit, the ceiling has water stains

Things you can do that may determine if your air conditioner is broken or needs a repair call:

Temperature Check

Is the house not cooling off, despite the thermostat being on the air conditioner setting? You could have a problem if the house isn’t cooling off, and an air conditioner replacement is in your near future.

How Does the Air Feel?         

If you’re still not sure, hold a hand in front of a vent, and it the air isn’t cold, even with the thermostat sitting in the air conditioner mode, then you could have an air conditioner replacement coming soon. First, though, turn the unit off and wait for the evaporator coils to thaw out and if still not cold air, call a technician.

How Do You Know if Your AC Fuse is Blown?

Any electrical device, especially air conditioning, can only endure a certain heat level until they are damaged. With air conditioners, blown fuses are the most common problem, and when the fuse blows, the air conditioner dies. You may still hear humming, but it isn’t the air conditioner trying to cut on, so yes, you may be looking at an air conditioner replacement, or you may need to replace the fuse only, or an air conditioner replacement plug could fix the problem.

Purchase a voltmeter from your local home improvement store, and following these steps, you’ll know if it the fuse, the electrical plug, or is you need to buy an air conditioner replacement:

  1. Disconnect the air conditioner at the exterior disconnect grey box mounted near the outdoor unit.
  2. Open the disconnect covers, inner and outer, so that the wire is exposed. 
  3. Set the voltmeter at zero; then, you’ll see two sets of wires in the disconnect panel. One is labeled “line,” and one is labeled “load” that carries the incoming power, loads the cables, and then sends it out.
  4. Connect the leads of the voltmeters to the lugs that connect the two wires. The voltmeter reading should be between 220 to 240 volts. Such a range indicates that power is getting to the fuses.
  5. Connect the voltmeters leads to the test of the outgoing voltage to the load wire’s lugs. If the meter has a zero reading, the fuse blew.

Should I Replace My 15-year-old Air Conditioner?

Air conditioning experts recommend using the 5,000 rule. Take the age of your unit and multiply it by the cost to repair it. If the price is over $5,000, then the better option will be to replace the unit. Experts say that age is an essential factor when determining to repair or replace a unit. Other factors to consider if air conditioner replacement or repair is the best decision:

  • Energy Efficiency: The technology in air conditioning has improved over the years. If your current unit is 10 years old or older, it is likely not as energy efficient as it could be.
  • Refrigerant: If a repair visit finds that your air conditioner unit requires refrigerant, there is probably a coolant leak, and while the recharge this time may fix it, it will likely need coolant again next summer. Repairing the unit is going to be costly, which makes air conditioner replacement more sensible.
  • High Electric Bills: If your electric bills are getting beyond reasonable, it may be time to consider an air conditioner replacement.
New AC Wall Unit

Can I Install My Own AC Unit?

Nope, you cannot install your own air conditioner replacement, no matter how good a DIY homeowner you may be. The electrical components have a high-risk level, and if not done correctly, you could damage the unit or even the wiring in the house. An expert HVAC technician will have the experience and knowledge to ensure the air conditioner replacement you get is the right size for your home.      

The famous question is, “Can you replace the air conditioner but not the furnace?” Homeowners who are not expecting their air conditioner to quit regularly ask about the furnace. It is necessary to replace your air conditioner components simultaneously, the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. However, you can get away with replacing only the air conditioner if budget constraints are an issue. If the furnace is 15 years old, if possible, we recommend replacing both.

Need air conditioner replacement in Cumming, GA? Choose the experts at Kennon Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at 678-203-4784 today.