Three Signs That You May Need a New AC Unit
Summer is just beginning, and most homeowners have already been using their air conditioners to beat the rising heat and humidity. Unfortunately, as their workload increases, many old, damaged, or worn-out AC systems may not make it through the summer. This is not uncommon in the summer months. Most AC breakdowns tend to occur in the peak of the hot season as wear and tear or other issues get the best of struggling units.
Naturally, having the AC go out in the middle of a hot and muggy afternoon is the last thing any homeowner wants, so it’s best to catch signs of trouble before it gets to that point. This article will share three common signs it may be time for AC replacement so homeowners can have a professional inspect the unit and suggest the best solution.
Nasty Odors & Strange Sounds
Air conditioners are designed to be as discreet as possible, with the air blower unit tucked away in a crawlspace or attic, where it’s out of sight, and the only signs it’s running should be a gentle hum and the feeling of cool, fresh air flowing out of the vents. So if any strange noises are coming from the unit or the air flowing from the vents smells bad, it’s not a good sign.
Sounds like grinding, clanging, knocking, squealing, or excessive rattling usually mean something is broken, misaligned, or seriously wrong inside the unit. The problem may be serious enough to warrant replacing the AC or may only require repair. But even if the issue can be repaired, if it goes unresolved or is neglected too long while the unit continues to run, it could cause more damage and necessitate AC replacement.
Foul smells coming from the air vents also point to issues. A musty or mildewy smell may indicate that the air blower unit or the air ducts have become contaminated with mold growth, which poses a health risk. Burning smells could indicate an electrical problem, overheating, or excessive friction, which are dangerous issues that must be addressed right away because they could cause a fire. If homeowners notice these signs, they should immediately call a reliable HVAC contractor.
Unusually High Utility Bill
Another clue that it might be time to replace the air conditioner is if the energy bills have risen unexpectedly. Air conditioners tend to get less energy-efficient as they age, especially as they approach the end of their life expectancy (usually around 12 to 17 years for central ACs). This is mostly due to the effects of normal wear and tear over the years, but older units are also just less efficient than today’s models begin with. If the loss of efficiency and high energy bills are due to an old AC, it’s time to consider a replacement.
Other than age, an air conditioner that hasn’t been maintained properly or has other issues like a broken part also won’t perform efficiently and can raise cooling costs. In either case, a professional can inspect the air conditioning to determine what is causing the inefficiency and if it requires an air conditioner replacement, repair, or maintenance. The extra cost of poor energy efficiency can add up over time, and repairing an old AC may not be worth it in the long run, so homeowners may be better off investing in a new unit.
Poor Airflow or Warm Air
Perhaps the most obvious sign of a malfunctioning air conditioner that may need replacing is if warm air is coming out of the vents, poor airflow, or if very little air (if any) is coming out. This could indicate an issue with the air ducts, dirty or frozen evaporator coils, a refrigerant leak, or a faulty blower motor. However, it often points to a failing compressor.
Depending on the age of the unit and what’s causing the inadequate airflow or cooling, it may make more economic sense to replace the unit than it does to shell out for repairs. However, air conditioning replacement is a big decision with many factors to consider, so homeowners should always consult their trusted local HVAC company to determine the best course of action!
About Honest Abe’s Home Services
Honest Abe's Home Services is a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and mold removal and remediation company serving Osage Beach and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rate pricing, advanced technology, and fast turnarounds. Call them today for air conditioner installation and replacement in Osage Beach, MO.