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Is it time for an air conditioner replacement? Is your current system geared to meet the challenge? If not, this is the perfect time to service, repair, or replace the unit. This article provides information on when to replace your old air conditioner to generate higher comfort levels.

How Old Is My AC?

The average air conditioner will operate for about 10-15 years at optimal conditions. The first thing is to determine the age of your current unit to see whether it’s near the end of its service life. If you purchased the system yourself, it should not be challenging to figure out the age of the unit. Especially if you scanned or filed the original receipt of the system.

If the unit was already in place when you bought the house, you should do a bit of detective work. The AC’s outdoor condenser unit has a metal nameplate attached to it with the unit’s manufacture date. If the date isn’t precise, photograph the nameplate and write down the brand name, model, and serial number. Using this information, search online or ask a knowledgeable and experienced HVAC technician. 

Watch this video: When is it time to replace your AC?

Repair vs Air Conditioner Replacement

The unit’s age plays a crucial role when determining whether to repair or replace the existing AC. An older AC unit may have at least two disadvantages against using it further:

  • R22 or Freon Refrigerant – Freon is a dangerous ozone-depleting substance, and the Canadian government is phasing out the refrigerant. It will be illegal to use R22 in another few years’ time. What does this phase-out mean for you? Do you smell coolant coming from your AC? If your system has a coolant leak and needs it topped up, you cannot buy R22 in the future. 
  • Wasted Energy – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio measures energy usage in an AC unit by the ratio of BTUs to the watt-hour of electricity consumption. The old SEER ratings were at ten and have increased to 13 and more now. Investing in a modern energy-efficient AC system will reduce your carbon footprint. It will help save money on your electricity bills in the long run. If you decide to replace your existing unit, whether a central AC or ductless AC unit, opt for a unit with Energy Star certification

Another factor to consider when repairing or replacing older units is how much you will spend on repairs. If the unit costs a fortune in repairs, it’s better to invest in a new air conditioner. If the repair bill of an older unit that is still serviceable is half the cost of a new replacement unit, you may decide to keep the old unit for a few more years. But if you have to do another costly repair within the next five years time, the short-term cost-saving repair may end up costing you more money than if you had replaced the unit. On the other hand, the new unit will have a comprehensive warranty and trouble-free operation for at least a decade.

Last but not least, take into consideration your home’s comfort factor. If the current system leaves your home’s indoor air humid and sticky-feeling, overly noisy, or cools unevenly, investing in a new system is better.

How Do You Keep Your AC Running Efficiently?

Whatever the SEER rating or age of your HVAC system, there are many steps to keep the unit running at peak efficiency and prevent unnecessary repairs:

  • Clean and replace the air filters – Do this every thirty days for standard fibreglass filters and 5-6 months for the expensive pleated filters.
  • Schedule regular tune-ups – A professional annual tune-up is vital to let your system operate at peak efficiency. Do it either before the start of spring or fall or when you shut the unit down for the season.
  • Call for prompt repairs – If your unit isn’t cooling correctly or running all the time, don’t delay contacting Furnace Repair Mississauga for expert tune-ups and repairs.
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