As the winter months begin to thaw, you may want to consider the state of your air conditioner. It is essential to consider if that older air conditioner will make it through another hot summer season. If not, now is the time to consider a repair or replace an air conditioner. The following is the information you need to ensure that your home is cool for the summer months.
How Old Is The Air Conditioner?
Typically, an air conditioner can cool a home for 10 to 15 years on average. With this in mind, one of the most important things to do is understand the age of your unit and decide how much longer it has left. If you have purchased the unit yourself, you will know how old it is. It is especially true if you have kept the receipt and other documentation.
However, if the unit was already there when you purchased the home, it may be more of a mystery to understand its age. You will find much of the information you need on the plate on the outdoor condenser. Typically, there is going to be a date of manufacture.
If there is no date, you will need to take a photo of the nameplate or write down the brand, model and serial number. This information can be used online or by talking to a knowledgeable HVAC professional to find a date.
Replacement VS Repair
When it is time to decide if it is time to replace or repair an air conditioning system, the age of the system will play a crucial role. In contrast, we understand that not all things old need to be disposed of and an A/C system that is a tad older already has a few bad marks against it.
Many older systems use an R22 refrigerant, also known as freon.
The Canadian government has already taken measures to phase out this dangerous substance that depletes the ozone layer. In fact, as of January 1, 2020, Canada officially banned the sale of freon products. Soon, it will be illegal to use R22 products. So what exactly does this phase-out mean to you and your air conditioning unit? Additionally, you may smell a coolant odour emitting from your system.
If your system leaks and you need to have it topped off, there will not be a way to purchase R22. Shortly, you will be unable to run an R22 based A/C unit at all.
Waste of energy
You can measure A/C energy in BTUs to the ratio of watt-hour of electrical consumption. In the past, SEER ratings were a minimum of 10. However, they have already increased to a level 13 or higher.
Having an energy-efficient unit ensures that you are lowering your carbon footprint and saving money on the electric bill. If you decide to replace an AC unit, you may choose a ductless A/C or central. Regardless, always seek out the Energy Star certification.
Another issue is the cost of the repair on an older unit. In many cases, it is simply not worth the cost or investment to repair an older unit instead of purchasing a newer unit. In many cases, you can fix an older unit at a substantial cost, only to need more repairs soon.
Consider how quickly those repair bills will add up over the short term as opposed to simply replacing the unit at the start of the problem. In addition, a new air conditioning unit comes with a warranty and is expected to run without issues for several years.
One of the final things to consider is the comfort level of your home. If you have an A/C unit that is leaving your home more humid and sticky as opposed to fresh and cool, you really should consider a new model such as a Trane air conditioner.
How To Keep An Air Conditioner Unit Running Like New?
Regardless of the SEER rating or age of the unit, there are several steps to ensure your system is always running at top performance.
- Changing or Cleaning Air Filters – You should do this every 30 days for standard fibreglass fitters or at least every six months for the more expensive pleated filters.
- Regularly Scheduled Tune-Ups – It is best to have an annual inspection for your cooling system. It is best done in the spring or fall season.
Call For Repairs ASAP Does your A/C unit simply not seem to be acting right? Is it shutting off all the time or not shutting off at all? You want to contact a repairman as soon as possible. Any delay could create a more severe and expensive problem.