How often do you need to replace your air conditioner?

air conditioner system outside near wild flowers

Keeping your home cool

No matter what part of the country you’re in, when the dead of summer arrives, you need your air conditioner to work.  Especially in the southern part of California, when July comes dragging in across the desert, you don’t want to be thinking about an air conditioner replacement. You want to turn it on, and cold air blows out. So, is that too much to ask of an air conditioner?

Not if you take care of it with proper maintenance. What does proper maintenance mean? The main thing you should do as a homeowner that will give you the longest lifespan from your air conditioner, replacement filters, or cleaning them if you have permanent filters, every 30 days, year-round. Another step you can do is clean the air ducts and vents, air conditioner replacement vents as needed, and have an annual professional inspection of the entire system.

Yes, this may cost a bit of your time and some money, like having a professional inspection done, it is cheaper than paying for an air conditioner replacement. Even if the professional air conditioning technician finds that air conditioner replacement parts are needed to improve your system functioning, it is cheaper than buying a new air conditioner replacement in the middle of the summer.

Can I replace my own air conditioner?

You can, but there are advantages to having it professionally installed. Yes, most HVAC companies work with certain air conditioner brands and will recommend those based on factors of your home and usage. When you install your own air conditioner, you have a variety of which brand to choose.

Hiring a professional to install your air conditioner replacement, you’ll have a warranty to work done. If there are any issues with the replacement, they’re responsible for repairing or replacing. Another benefit of having a professional air conditioning technician install your new system is the refrigerant.  To purchase this material and install it, you must be a licensed technician.

How many years should an air conditioner last?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any definitive answer to that question. As you’re shopping for an air conditioner replacement and having sticker shock, you’d probably like to know that it will outlive you. Still, realistically, the life expectancy of this vital home component can vary from unit to unit and home to home.

The quality of the air conditioner you choose will make a big difference in its lifespan, along with the quality of the installation job. How well you do at maintenance and upkeep will be a big part of how long it lasts.  If a significant issue happens, is the cost worthy of the air conditioner it fixes it or is an air conditioner replacement the better choice?

It will depend on the age of the unit and what is wrong. How do you know if an air conditioner replacement is the better option than repairing the unit? Here are some indications that a replacement is your only choice:

  1. Constant Repair Technician Calls: If you have to call a repair technician constantly, your air conditioning unit is probably costing you more than a new air conditioner replacement would. A general rule to determine this: if the repair costs have reached half the cost of an air conditioner replacement, get the new one.
  2. The House Is Evenly Cooled: If one room feels cooler than the other rooms or the rooms, all have a different temperature, and your current air conditioner is probably small for your house. If your home feels humid even with the air conditioner on, it is time to get an air conditioner replacement unit.
  3. Unusual Odors: An air conditioner should never emit a questionable or strange odor. If that odor is moldy or musty, make that repair call for a professional technician, but be prepared for the news: time to buy that air conditioner replacement.  If you’re lucky, cleaning the drip pan and few adjustments may fix the unit, but don’t be surprised if the technician tells you the unit isn’t worthy of repair.
  4. Unusual Noises: Are you hearing banging, grinding, rattling, or squealing sounds coming from your air conditioner system?  This could be a simple blockage from debris and dust, so do general cleaning and replace the filter. However, if you still hear these noises after that, it could be the compressor or motor that is going out, and if it is 15 years old or older, then it is time for an air conditioner replacement unit.
  5. Escalating Energy Bills: A large part of our energy bill during the summer goes to cool our homes, it’s just a given, especially in southern parts of the country. However, if you are noticing extremely high energy bills, it could be your air conditioning unit isn’t cooling efficiently, a common issue for units that are 15 years or older. At this point, you need to consider the cost of repairs you’ve paid and the cost of your energy bills: Will an air conditioner replacement unit.  
  6. Requires R-22 Refrigerant: If your air conditioner requires R-22 refrigerant, it is at least ten years old, probably older. R-22 contains environmentally dangerous ozone-depleting agents that have been made illegal by the Environmental Protection Agency. If your unit needs a charge, the repair technician will advise you of this, and your only option is to purchase an air conditioner replacement.
  7. Your Home Is Dustier: Dust builds up in an air conditioner and blows it through your home’s duct vents.  You should have the duct system inspected and cleaned, but if the system is old, ten years or older, an air conditioner replacement may be in order.
two exterior hvac systems

How long should your AC run a day?

In mild temperatures and a perfect situation, your air conditioner should not run more than twenty minutes at one time. If it is running less than twenty minutes, there is a good chance your air conditioner could be too big for your home.  Keep in mind, the lower the setting on your thermostat in the summer, the longer the unit has to run to reach and maintain that temperature. You can help your energy bills by adjusting the thermostat by two to three degrees. If the temperature setting isn’t keeping your home comfortable, consider buying an air conditioner replacement.

Is it bad for AC to run constantly? Yes! It is also an indication that the system you have is too small and is struggling to cool and keep your home cool.  How is a constant running air conditioner system bad? The pressure in the evaporator will freeze over, and the liquid refrigerant will flood into the compressor, damaging it and possibly the entire air conditioning system. When you need air conditioner replacement in Riverside, CA, call (951) 336-1541 today!