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

June 23, 2021

With proper upkeep, your air conditioner will deliver worry-free service for years. But, just like any other appliance in your home, it will ultimately need to be upgraded. Knowing when to install a new one is key to skip expensive repairs, costly energy bills and comfort disruptions.

When it comes to staying cool and your house’s energy efficiency, our Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing pros have your best interests at the forefront. 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

Most of the time, the Department of Energy says most air conditioners run for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the halfway point. It’s smart to get started preparing for air conditioning installation before it fails so you aren’t sweating while you’re waiting for installation.

Dependability

How reliable is your air conditioner? Does it cool well, even on the toastiest days? Or is it routinely needing repairs? When your air conditioner starts becoming less dependable it’s time to get started considering getting a new one.

Repair Costs

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

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner includes a SEER rating, which rates how well it uses electricity to create cold air. If your air conditioner was installed in 2006, it will be at least 13 SEER to meet federal rules. However, your air conditioner loses efficiency as it wears out.

Now, 15–18 SEER is a popular ranking, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with greater SEER ratings are typically more expensive but could pay for themselves over the years through improved 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 comfortable when your air conditioner is on? Or are you continuously dialing down the temperature to remain cool? An old air conditioner might struggle to keep your home comfortable because of lower 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 blast all the time, 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 annoying you, call us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Many of these air conditioners operate at a sound level that’s comparable to an everyday conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Getting a smart thermostat is a wise approach to maximize your energy efficiency, with minimal effort needed from you. And, depending on the rebates provided by your utility company, you could be able to get a free smart thermostat or get one for very little. Most of these thermostats can learn from your temperature preferences and then make an energy-efficient schedule to match. They also know when you’re at home or away and alter temperatures as needed.

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

Refrigerant Style

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

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

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

Our Technicians Make Air Conditioning Installation Stress-Free

If you’re still deciding whether you should replace your 15-year-old air conditioner soon, consider this. The Department of Energy says doing air conditioning replacement for a 10-year-old model can provide 25–40% in energy savings! And those savings can really add up as time goes by.

We realize that air conditioner cost is your top question. That’s why working with Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for air conditioning installation in McMurray and surrounding areas is stress-free and affordable. Our techs will help you choose the right option 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.

Get in touch with us at 724-370-0141 to request your free, no-pressure estimate now!