It’s nearly impossible to imagine going without air conditioning, especially when the hotter weather hits. Air conditioners are a modern home staple, and they’re essential for staying comfortable in your home. Eventually, air conditioners start to wear out and need replacing. But what are the signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner? If you know when to replace your air conditioner, you may avoid the future discomfort of going without home cooling if your unit suddenly fails. Below, we list 8 reasons why it might be time to replace your home’s air conditioner unit.

8 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

1. Odd Noises Are Coming from the Unit

Is your air conditioner noisier than usual or making funny noises? Worn-out units tend to make more noise than newer units. Noises may include grinding, rattling, banging, etc. If the unit is blocked by dust and debris, sometimes a simple air conditioner repair appointment is all that’s needed. However, if the unit is old and multiple parts are wearing down, it may be time to replace the air conditioner entirely.

2. The Air Smells Strange

Your air conditioner should never emit odd smells. So if the air smells musty or moldy, call an HVAC technician immediately. Strange smells can be caused by dirty air filters, burned-out wire insulation, or mold and mildew buildup. Sometimes a simple cleaning and repair job can fix the problem. But if the air smells of smoke when you run your air conditioner, it may be time to replace your A/C unit before experiencing a costly and potentially dangerous breakdown.

3. Your Energy Bills are Higher

Have you noticed that your monthly energy bill keeps getting higher and higher? Your A/C unit may be the culprit. Older air conditioners have to work harder to keep your entire home cool, which can skyrocket your energy bills. Replacing your old air conditioner with a newer, energy-efficient model can help keep your monthly expenses down and keep your home comfortably cool.

4. Poor Air Quality in Your Home

Is your air conditioner not blowing cold air to the entire house? Is your home feeling more humid than usual? Have you noticed more dust on top of your furniture? These can be signs that you’re in need of an air conditioner replacement. Uneven cooling can be a sign your air conditioner is wearing out and can no longer perform to its previous standards. Also, if your home feels humid and is dustier than typical, this can signal your A/C unit’s ventilation is failing and needs replacing.

5. Your Airflow is Weak

Poor airflow can be a sign of clogged air conditioner filters and ducts. Regularly cleaning your filters and unclogging ducts can help improve your A/C unit’s efficiency. However, if your filters and ducts are in good condition, the problem may be your air conditioner. Having your air conditioner inspected by a technician can help you assess whether the unit needs to be replaced.

6. Unit Needs Frequent and Expensive repairs

If you find yourself constantly calling an HVAC technician for repairs, it might be time to invest the money spent for repairs into an entirely new A/C system. Rather than investing money in an air conditioner that is past its prime, a new system can help you save money in the long run.

7. Your A/C Unit is Over 10 Years Old

This is one of the most common signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner: old age! On average, air conditioners have a lifespan of 10-15 years. If your A/C unit is over 10 years old, it could be underperforming and using up more energy than needed, increasing your monthly energy bill.

8. Air Conditioner Uses R-22 Refrigerant

Air conditioners manufactured before January 2010 used a refrigerant called R-22 or Freon to cool the air inside the house. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discontinued the use of R-22 because of harmful substances in it that can damage the ozone layer. Newer air conditioners use a more environmentally-friendly coolant called R-410A. To have your air conditioner checked to see if it uses R-22, reach out to a qualified HVAC professional for an inspection.

What Should I Look for in a New Air Conditioner Unit?

1.Energy Efficiency

Choosing an energy-efficient air conditioner can help you save on your monthly energy bill in the long term. Many air conditioner types are ENERGY STAR certified, which means they meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for using less energy. The SEER rating is also a measure of an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is the air conditioner’s cooling output divided by the total energy used in a cooling session. The higher the SEER and ENERGY STAR rating, the better the energy efficiency.

2. Price

Your budget is crucial when deciding on an air conditioner unit. If you are looking for whole-home cooling, a central A/C unit is more effective for all-around cooling. They are more expensive, but systems with a higher price tend to be more energy-efficient. This can make them less expensive to run in the long term.

3. Size

You will need to make sure your A/C unit is the right size for your home. If you choose an air conditioner that is too large or small, it can be less efficient and use too much energy.

4. Cooling Power

British Thermal Units (BTUs) measure an air conditioner’s cooling capacity. The higher the BTU number means the more cooling power an air conditioner has. Speak with an HVAC technician to evaluate how many BTUs you need to cool your space.

5. Quality

You want to get the most out of your air conditioner, so choosing one that stands the test of time is important. Make sure your chosen air conditioner has reliable, well-made components so it can last you a long time. At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we recommend air conditioner brands like Trane, Lennox, and Mitsubishi for quality A/C units.

What is the Most Reliable Air Conditioner Brand?

We’ve found Trane to be the most reliable air conditioner brand on the market. As of 2018, Trane has been voted America’s Most Trusted HVAC Brand by Lifestory Research for four years in a row. Trane air conditioner units have up to 22 SEER ratings, and their signature quiet running fans measure at 4dB below competitor’s minimum. Many of their central air conditioners feature TruComfort technology, which lets the A/C unit automatically adjust the temperature while maintaining fan speeds to avoid temperature swings. On top of that, their air conditioner units are among the most durable in the industry. There’s a reason why their slogan is “You Can’t Stop a Trane!”

At Mountain Heating and Cooling, we’re certified Trane HVAC specialists, and we can properly assess which unit would be best for your home’s needs. Reach out to our Bozeman HVAC technicians today to learn more about what Trane air conditioner may fit your home’s needs best.

Next Steps

If your A/C unit is showing signs of wear and tear, reach out to our team to schedule an air conditioner inspection. Our Bozeman air conditioning specialists can take a look at your unit, determine whether it needs repairs or replacement, and make recommendations for what A/C unit fits your home’s cooling needs the best. Fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment, or give us a call at (406) 586-4007.