Air Conditioners work hard in our region to cool and dehumidify homes, and they're well appreciated. However, once they're beyond their prime, efficiency falls off and repairs, troubleshooting and headaches become commonplace. If you're in a repair or replace dilemma, see if any of the following information helps you better understand AC life span and your options.
How Long Should an Air Conditioner Last
Like any other machine, an AC system will show signs that it's in need of repair, maintenance or simply worn out past its useful life span. Following are three areas where aging ACs fall short:
- Poor dehumidification - As an air conditioner cools a home, moisture is removed from airflow as it condenses on the evaporator coil. The more efficient a unit's performance, the better dehumidification capacity. As an AC system ages, however, the compressor has trouble keeping up with home cooling and dehumidification. Home dehumidification is expected in our region more than most others, which requires maximum compressor performance.
- High cooling bills - The compressor and air handlers are the primary electrically-driven components. As these components wear through age or neglect, their parts begin to fail, and energy bills go up and up. A worn compressor and/or air handlers also impact the efficiency of other air conditioner parts.
- Over the hill - The life span of older AC systems is about 10 to 12 years. If your AC is in this range or beyond, it may be past its prime, and repairs may become commonplace. If the cost of an AC repair exceeds half the cost of a new system, it's time to upgrade. A new air conditioner may save up to 50 percent cooling costs, too.
Moreover, the price of refrigerant factors into the repair or replace dilemma. Older AC systems use R22, which is being phased out. It's still available for repair work, but at a premium price. Talk to your HVAC professional about the condition and AC life span of your system to help make the best decision.
For further information, please contact Thermacon Service Company. We proudly serve homeowners in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, Vidor and surrounding communities.
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