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

June 23, 2021

With adequate maintenance, your air conditioner will offer worry-free service for years. But, like any other machine in your home, it will at some point need to be upgraded. Knowing when to install a new one is important to skip expensive repairs, expensive utility bills and interruptions to your comfort.

When it includes keeping cool and your residence’s energy efficiency, our Contra Costa Heating & AC professionals have your best interests at heart. There’s a lot that goes into figuring out when your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Here are a couple of aspects you should consider when you’re thinking about updating your 15-year-old air conditioner.

Age

In most instances, the Department of Energy says most air conditioners work for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the halfway point. It’s smart to start prepping for air conditioning installation before it wears out so you aren’t roasting while you’re waiting for a replacement.

Trustworthiness

How dependable is your air conditioner? Does it cool dependably, even on the hottest days? Or is it routinely malfunctioning? When your air conditioner is less reliable it’s time to get started thinking about getting a new one.

Repair Bills

Over your air conditioner’s life span, it’s anticipated for it to need a few small repairs. But if your air conditioner repair cost is more than half the price of a new air conditioner, it’s recommended to just install a new one.

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner has a SEER rating, which ranks how efficiently it uses electricity to produce cooling. If your air conditioner was installed in 2006, it will be a minimum of 13 SEER per federal mandates. However, your air conditioner becomes inefficient as it gets older.

Today, 15–18 SEER is a popular number, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with greater SEER ratings are often more expensive but could pay for themselves over their life span through more energy savings. And purchasing an energy-efficient air conditioner, especially one that’s an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, can make you eligible for added rebates.

Comfort

Are you comfortable when your air conditioner is running? Or are you often dialing down the temperature to remain cool? An old air conditioner could struggle to keep your home comfy as a result of reduced efficiency. An updated air conditioner, particularly a variable-speed air conditioner, can lower high humidity and hot and cold spots. Instead of operating on high continuously, these air conditioners work at multiple speeds to fine-tune your comfort.

Noise

Your air conditioner should give cooling you can feel, not hear. If noise is bothering you, call us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Many of these air conditioners operate at a sound level that’s like an everyday conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Adding a smart thermostat is a good approach to stay on top of energy efficiency, with very little effort required from you. And, depending on the rebates provided by your utility company, you may be able to get a free smart thermostat or get one for very little. Many of these thermostats can pick up on your temperature preferences and then make an energy-efficient schedule to match. They also know when you’re at home or away and alter temps accordingly.

If you rely on an aging air conditioner, a smart thermostat might not work with it. Getting a new air conditioner is a wise method to ensure smart thermostat compatibility.

Refrigerant Type

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely relies on Freon®. Also known as R-22 refrigerant, Freon is no longer being produced because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. You can see if your air conditioner uses R-22 by looking at the sticker on the outside unit, which will show the refrigerant style.

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

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

Our Pros 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 over the years.

We know that air conditioner cost is your first question. That’s why collaborating with Contra Costa Heating & AC for air conditioning installation in the Bay Area and surrounding areas is stress-free and affordable. Our technicians will help you choose the right model for your needs and then discuss 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.

Reach us at 510-343-9841 to request your free, no-pressure estimate now!