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Beat the Heat: 3 Signs That It's Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Southern California is often the ideal example of perfect weather, but it can get quite warm. During the summer months, the average temperature rests just below 100 degrees. A well-functioning air conditioner unit is something you don't want to be without.
However, if you're not replacing a failing or aging unit promptly, you could be left to beat the heat on your own. Learn just some of the signs that often signal a replacement is necessary.
House air conditioner
1. Increased Age
All air conditioner units have somewhat of an expiration period. On average, homeowners can expect their system to last somewhere between 10 and 15 years, but only if they made preventive maintenance a top priority throughout the life of the unit. If your unit is nearing 10 years of age, it's a good idea to start thinking about the idea of replacing it.
In addition to increased energy consumption, an older air conditioner may also require more frequent repairs. When you combine the increased costs each of these presents, a decision to replace the unit is often the more cost-effective option. It's best to have your system inspected at least once a year, regardless of its age.
However, as your unit gets older, these annual inspections are a great way to determine if a replacement is necessary so that you can plan ahead.
2. Increased Energy Consumption
The average central air conditioner unit will consume around 3,500 watts of energy each month, which averages out to a monthly cost just below $250. The older a unit is, the lower the level of efficiency at which it will operate. Declined efficiency means more energy consumption and increased operating costs.
Much of the increase in consumption has to do with outdated technology and wear and tear. However, upgrading a unit that is 10 years old will likely lower your consumption and costs by upward of 20 percent. Given the previous example, that's a monthly saving of $50.
With air conditioner–friendly temperatures in the area arriving as early as April and staying around as late as October, even a 20 percent savings on your energy usage can produce significant savings. If you're noticing an upward trend on your energy bill every month, then an inefficient air conditioner could be the culprit.
3. Declined Home Comfort
When the living room is no longer as cool as the bedroom, you have a problem on your hands. A well-functioning air conditioner unit should maintain optimal comfort levels in every room of a home. If you're having comfort issues and you recently made an addition to your home, it could be that your unit is too small for the current demand of your home.
An air conditioner unit that is too small won't produce enough cooled air to cool all the areas of your home, which will lead to declined comfort. On the other hand, excessive humidity could be the result of a unit that is too large. Oversized systems cycle on and off so quickly that they do a poor job of removing excess moisture from the air.
It's always best to have an HVAC technician calculate your energy load whenever making changes to your home to determine if your current unit is adequate or if you'll need to upgrade the system.
Don't wait until the heat returns to focus on your home's air conditioner. At Climate Heating & Cooling, we are standing by to meet all your heating and cooling needs — no matter the time of the year. We will be more than happy to help you determine if it's time to replace your unit and help you with any of your other HVAC concerns.