Here’s How to Tell Whether You Really Need a New AC

air-conditioner-replacementYour AC unit is usually the most expensive mechanical system in your home. That’s why the thought of replacing it strikes fear into the hearts of most homeowners. Even in a moderate climate like Portland’s, however, the temperature will reach 100 degrees a few days every summer, and you don’t want to be without air conditioning. But how do you know you really do need a new AC? We’ll go over the three most important indicators below.  

3 Signs You Need a New AC

You may not think replacing your AC is critical given Portland’s climate. However, keep in mind, that having any of the issues below can be a sign of more expensive problems on the horizon. If you are concerned about your AC system, contact your local AC experts to schedule a thorough inspection.

1. Older AC System

No matter what, if your AC is over 12-15 years old, it’s time to consider a new one as it’s at the end of its lifespan. Maybe you’re not having major problems with it yet, but the clock is ticking, and you don’t want it to inevitably go out at the worst possible moment.

In addition, older systems just aren’t as efficient as newer models which have entered the market in the last 15-20 years. If your AC was manufactured in the 1990s, it may have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 10 or less. Newer AC systems typically have a minimum SEER rating of 13 all the way up to a maximum of 25 depending on the technology being used.

Plus, older systems use the refrigerant Freon which is being phased out – and thus becoming more expensive – as it’s replaced by the more environmentally friendly R-410A.

2. More Frequent Repairs

AC systems are designed to be durable, but as they age, maintenance will become more frequent and expensive. Replacing a thermostat or capacitor can cost less than $500, but installing a new evaporator coil or compressor can easily exceed $1,500. If you find yourself having to put more money into your system than you should, consider investing that money in a new one.

3. Higher Monthly Electric Bills.

The subtlest indicator of a serious AC issue is higher electricity bills. Yes, we all expect to pay more in the summer when units are used the most, but take a close look at your year-over-year energy usage. If it’s trending upward, your AC is having to work harder to produce the same amount of cooling power.

The fix may be as simple as adding refrigerant, but the problem may be more serious. You’ll need an AC professional to make this determination.

Preventive AC Maintenance

If you decide you need a new AC, it will require a significant investment. You’ll want to have a regularly scheduled maintenance program to keep it running well and extend its life. We offer a three-tiered plan, so you can choose the option which works best for you.

Contact The Clean Air Act for AC installation in Portland, OR, today!  

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