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

June 23, 2021

With adequate upkeep, your air conditioner will provide worry-free performance for many years. But, like any other machine in your house, it will ultimately need to be updated. Knowing when to install a new one is key to prevent costly repairs, expensive energy bills and interrupted comfort.

When it involves staying cool and your residence’s energy efficiency, our Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC professionals have your best interests at the forefront. There’s a lot that goes into deciding when your air conditioner should be replaced. Here are several things you should consider when you’re thinking about updating your 15-year-old air conditioner.

Age

On average, the Department of Energy says the majority of air conditioners last for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the center point. It’s wise to begin planning for air conditioning installation before it goes out so you aren’t sweltering while you’re waiting for installation.

Trustworthiness

How trustworthy is your air conditioner? Does it cool reliably, even on the warmest days? Or is it routinely needing repairs? When your air conditioner is less reliable it’s time to start thinking about getting an upgraded one.

Repair Expenses

Over your air conditioner’s lifetime, it’s normal for it to need a handful of small repairs. But if your air conditioner repair cost is more than half the expenses of a new air conditioner, it’s wiser to just get a new one.

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner includes a SEER rating, which ranks how well it consumes electricity to create chilled air. 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 wears out.

Now, 15–18 SEER is a popular ranking, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with higher SEER ratings are often costlier but might pay for themselves over time through improved energy savings. And installing an energy-efficient air conditioner, especially one that’s an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, can make you eligible for additional rebates.

Comfort

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

Noise

Your air conditioner should provide cooling you can feel, not hear. If noise is annoying you, check with us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Many of these air conditioners cool at a sound level that’s similar to an everyday conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

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

If you have an aging air conditioner, a smart thermostat might not work with it. Installing a new air conditioner is a wise approach to ensure smart thermostat compatibility.

Refrigerant Kind

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely relies on Freon®. Also called R-22 refrigerant, Freon is no longer being made because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. You can see if your air conditioner runs on R-22 by checking 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 has a refrigerant leak, repairing the problem will be costly. That’s since Freon is only available in decreased, recycled amounts.

Newer air conditioners run on Puron®, or R-410A. But you can’t just use Puron in a Freon air conditioner, as 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 lead to 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 Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC for air conditioning installation in Ellsworth and surrounding areas is easy and affordable. Our pros will help you find 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 fit your budget.

Get in touch with us at 715-318-6728 to request your free, no-pressure estimate today!