When the St. Louis heat and humidity takes a toll on your air conditioner year after year, it may be time to consider a new air conditioner. There are 5 key signs that tell you it’s time to invest. And some days it can feel like your air conditioner just isn’t working like it should. But how do you know when the extra warmth in your home is due to a local heat advisory and when it’s due to a faulty AC unit that needs replacing? Look for one or more of these 5 signs to help determine if it’s time to upgrade your HVAC system.
1. Your House Never Cools
If you notice that your home just doesn’t seem to cool or that the air doesn’t flow the way it used to, it’s probably a sign that your air conditioner needs some type of repair.
Another tell-tale sign is if the unit keeps running and takes a long time to turn off. When an HVAC system isn’t working, the blowers on the unit will keep running to heat or cool the air, depending on the season. In the case of the air conditioner, when the air doesn’t cools, the thermostat never registers a change in temperature that triggers the unit to turn off. So, the system just keeps running.
2. Your Senses Notice Something Odd
If you notice unpleasant smells or hear unfamiliar noises every time your AC kicks on, it could be a sign of problems with the unit. If a unit is failing, you might notice a burning smell or hear grinding or grating noises. If the air conditioner isn’t controlling the humidity in your home the way it should, you might eventually detect a moldy smell that also indicates that unit is no longer working properly.
3. The Refrigerant Leaks
As units age, hoses and other parts can develop cracks that allow for the refrigerant to leak out of the unit. Refrigerant is the chemical the unit requires to keep cool and to cool the air in your home. Normally a refrigerant leak can be repaired by replacing the cracked or broken part of the unit that’s causing the leak and adding more refrigerant.
But if your unit is older, it most likely used freon as the refrigerant. As of January 1, 2020, freon has been banned in the United States because of its effects on the environment. That means if you need to add freon to your air conditioner, you’re probably going to have to buy a new unit instead.
4. The Unit is Old and Inefficient
HVAC units can often last the better part of a couple decades. But if your air conditioner is more than 10 or 15 years old and you’re starting to see increases in your energy bills, it might be time for a new, more efficient model.
The costs of a new air conditioner for a single-family home varies depending on the size of the house. And some units come with additional features that can add to the price. But you can expect to pay somewhere between $4,000 and $8,000 for a new unit. The good news is that you can sometimes qualify for rebates through the local energy company to help reduce the purchase price of a new unit.
5. The 5,000 Rule
Speaking of cost, one of the best rules of thumb for deciding if it’s time to purchase a new air conditioner rather than simply making a repair is “the 5,000 rule.” Get an estimate on the cost of the repair you need and multiply it by the age of your unit. If the number is greater than 5,000, you’re better off replacing the unit.
If it’s time for a new air conditioner in your home, the folks here at Bart Inman Air Conditioning and Heat can help. If you’re without air conditioning, we’ll prioritize your call and won’t even charge extra for a night or weekend visit.
Our certified and trained technicians will provide you with a free estimate based on the needs of your home. And we sell and service all brands, makes, and models.
Don’t let another St. Louis summer get the better of you. Call or contact Bart Inman Air Conditioning and Heat today.