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Should I Replace My Central Air Conditioner? A Phoenix Tech Explains.

2019 Aug 22
Posted in: Air Conditioning

The #1 indication that it’s time to replace your central AC is its age: If your AC is 10+ years old, it’s time to start thinking about replacing your AC system.

But here’s the tricky part—some units last well beyond 10 years, especially if it’s been well-maintained throughout its life.

That said, we only suggest replacing your AC if it’s 10+ years old and is showing one or more of the following signs:

  • You’re facing expensive or frequent repairs
  • Your energy bills have spiked
  • Your AC isn’t cooling your home properly

Below, we’ll walk through each of these factors in more detail, so you know whether or not it’s time to replace your AC system.

Rather have a professional's opinion? Learn more about the central AC installation services we offer or…

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Why 10 years is the magic "AC replacement" number

Central AC systems are designed to last about 10-15 years. Once they reach this age, they tend to start breaking down, resulting in frequent and sometimes costly repairs. 

If your AC is around this age, it’s probably time to think about replacing it. 

Okay, but what if my AC is around this age and working fine?

If you haven’t had to spend much on repairs yet, that’s great! But keep in mind, expensive repairs are likely coming sooner rather than later. 

In this case, it’s usually more cost-effective to be proactive about replacing your AC rather than waiting for a breakdown. You don’t want to be stuck without AC when you need it most or ending up having to pay for an expensive repair or a replacement because you need conditioned air right away. 

Replace your AC if it's 10 years old AND…

1. You're facing expensive or frequent repairs 

When it comes to repairs, there are two things to consider: the cost of the repair and the frequency of repairs.

  1. Cost: When it comes to AC repairs, we advise that you follow the 50% rule. That is, if your AC repair costs 50% or more of the total cost of your central AC system, replace your AC instead of repairing it. 
  2. Frequency: If you’re noticing that your AC is starting to need repairs frequently, it’s probably time to consider replacing it, especially if it’s at or nearing that age limit we mentioned (10-15 years). 

It doesn't make sense to keep investing money in an AC system that is damaged or aging when you could invest that money in a new AC system instead.

Imagine if you were facing a car repair that cost half of what you paid for your car... or you had a car that you were constantly having to repair. Instead of continuing to invest in a car that likely won’t last much longer, you’d likely sell it and invest that money in a new car instead. 

You should think of your AC system the same way. Although it’s easier to think about spending a few hundred on a repair rather than investing thousands into a new system, if you are looking at expensive or frequent repairs, it’s smarter to invest in a new system altogether. 

2. Your energy bills have spiked

As your AC ages, parts begin to wear out and your AC as a whole won’t work as efficiently as it used to. 

As your AC becomes less efficient, your system will have to work harder and longer to cool your home, which can cause a spike in your energy bills.

If the cost of cooling in your area and the temperature you set your home to haven’t changed, but you notice a significant increase in your cooling bills, your AC is likely becoming less efficient. This is a sign that you should start looking into replacing your AC. 

Although an AC system is a big upfront investment, you’ll likely see long-term savings if you buy a new AC system rather than continuing to use an aging and inefficient system. The longer you run an inefficient AC system, the more you’ll spend over time on monthly cooling costs. 

3. Your AC isn’t cooling your home properly

As we mentioned above, as your AC ages, it has to work harder and longer to cool your home. Sometimes, your central AC system just might not be able to catch up anymore and may struggle to cool your home to the temperature you’ve set.

If you’ve started to notice that your AC isn’t able to reach the temperature on your thermostat or there are hot and cold spots around your house, it’s probably time to replace your AC system.

Ready to replace your central AC system or need a professional’s opinion? 

If you’ve read through this blog and realize it’s time to replace your AC system, we’re here to help you find the best solution for your Phoenix home. 

Schedule a free estimate!

Still looking for more detailed information about whether it’s time to replace your central AC? We get it! Check out the central AC installation services we offer or contact us for more information.