Should I Replace My 15-Year-Old Air Conditioner?

June 23, 2021

With ample maintenance, your air conditioner will provide worry-free cooling for years. But, like any other machine in your house, it will eventually need to be upgraded. Knowing when to replace it is key to avoid pricey repairs, costly energy bills and interrupted comfort.

When it includes staying cool and your house’s energy efficiency, our Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning specialists are looking out for your best interests. There’s a lot that goes into figuring out when your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Here are several points you should consider when you’re thinking about updating your 15-year-old air conditioner.

Age

On average, the Department of Energy says many air conditioners last for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the midpoint. It’s recommended to get started planning for air conditioning installation before it fails so you aren’t sweltering while you’re waiting for installation.

Trustworthiness

How reliable is your air conditioner? Does it cool dependably, even on the hottest days? Or is it routinely malfunctioning? When your air conditioner becomes less trustworthy it’s time to begin thinking about getting an upgraded one.

Repair Bills

Over your air conditioner’s life span, it’s expected for it to need a handful of little repairs. But if your air conditioner repair cost is more than half the price of a new air conditioner, it’s wiser to just install a new one.

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner comes with a SEER rating, which rates how efficiently it expends electricity to make cold air. If your air conditioner was installed in 2006, it will be at least 13 SEER per federal guidelines. However, your air conditioner loses efficiency as it wears out.

Now, 15–18 SEER is a popular range, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with higher SEER ratings are usually more expensive but may pay for themselves over the years through increased energy savings. And getting an energy-efficient air conditioner, especially one that’s an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, can make you eligible for extra rebates.

Comfort

Are you cool when your air conditioner is running? Or are you constantly turning down the temperature to stay cool? An old air conditioner could have problems keeping your house comfortable because of reduced efficiency. A modern air conditioner, particularly a variable-speed air conditioner, can lower high humidity and hot and cold spots. Instead of cooling at full speed all the time, these air conditioners work at multiple speeds to adjust your comfort.

Noise

Your air conditioner should give cooling you can feel, not hear. If noise is a concern, call us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Most of these air conditioners run at a sound level that’s comparable to a regular conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Getting a smart thermostat is a smart way to keep up with energy efficiency, with very little effort required from you. And, depending on the rebates provided by your utility company, you might be able to get a free smart thermostat or get one for not much. Most of these thermostats can learn from your temperature preferences and then create an energy-efficient schedule to match. They also know when you’re at home or gone and alter temperatures accordingly.

If you rely on an outdated air conditioner, a smart thermostat might not work with it. Installing a new air conditioner is a surefire approach to ensure smart thermostat compatibility.

Refrigerant Kind

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it potentially uses Freon®. Also referred to as R-22 refrigerant, Freon is no longer being manufactured as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. You can see if your air conditioner uses R-22 by reviewing the sticker on the outside unit, which will list the refrigerant style.

If your air conditioner is operating fine, you can keep on using it. However, if it ever develops a refrigerant leak, fixing the problem will be expensive. That’s because Freon is only available in decreased, recycled amounts.

Newer air conditioners have Puron®, or R-410A. But you can’t just put Puron in a Freon air conditioner, as pressure requirements are different.

Our Professionals Make Air Conditioning Installation Stress-Free

If you’re still trying to decide whether you should replace your 15-year-old air conditioner now, think over this. The Department of Energy says doing air conditioning replacement for a 10-year-old model can result in 25–40% in energy savings! And those savings can really add up as time passes.

We are aware that air conditioner cost is your first question. That’s why partnering with Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioning installation in Kearney and surrounding areas is easy and affordable. Our techs will help you find the right solution for your needs and then review all the possibilities. These include special offers to help you save more and financing for qualified customers to make your new air conditioner work with your budget.

Call us at 308-624-3485 to request your free, no-pressure estimate now!