Aging of A/C Systems – What it looks like and signs

It is a fact of life, things get old and die. Your A/C unit is no different; there are telling signs that your A/C unit needs to be replaced. Before delving into the signs, it is important to note that age is a truly telling factor of the health of an A/C unit. Plenty of homeowners try to push their A/C units through to the very end as it is a costly portion of maintaining or upgrading a household. In fact, many aging units work “just fine” until one hot summer day makes them completely crash. Believe us, you do not want to be sitting in your house on a hot day without air conditioning, well unless of course you’re a gluten for uncomfortability. The projected lifespan of an A/C unit that is professionally installed and professionally maintained is 10-15 years. Obviously, lifestyle and climate play a major factor in its lifespan. It is best to replace a unit prior to its untimely and inevitable failure.

There are a multitude of signs that an A/C unit needs to be replaced with a good portion of them being noticeable by human senses. The first sensory sign of an A/C needing to be replaced has to do with the sense of touch. When the unit is turned on and the air does not come out cold within a few minutes, it is highly likely that the unit is underperforming. It could also be an issue related to the airflow as pipes and/or ductwork have the nasty ability of becoming clogged. Regardless of the cause, if air is not flowing out cold when it should be, this requires attention from a professional.

The second sensory sign of an A/C unit in disarray is audible. When the unit seems to be louder than normal and drawing attention to itself, there could be a serious problem. A banging or clanking sound is typically aligned with a broken part such as a piston pin or crankshaft. It can also be caused by the need of a compressor replacement. A buzzing noise can be caused by a variety of reasons from either the indoor or outdoor unit; it could be related to loose fan blades, a dirty condenser coil, loose parts, debris, or an out of balance blower etc. When the unit begins to squeak or squeal, it is often a sign of the outdoor or indoor motor going bad. If left on unchecked, a humming or buzzing noise can lead to more serious issues such as a non-compliant compressor or issues with the refrigerant piping which causes vibrations. A chattering or rattling noise is associated with a deteriorating unit. Should your A/C unit begin making a high-pitched noise or a sound like screaming, shut the A/C off right away! This is generally synonymous with a refrigerant leak that is harmful to human health on top of damaging the A/C unit. A/C units are designed to not draw too much attention to themselves because the intention behind having them is to create a comfortable setting in the household. If the unit begins making unordinary noises, its best to get an EcoZapp professional opinion. Risking health concerns or safety issues is not worth getting that extra month or two out of a dying A/C unit.

Owners can use their sense of smell to tell if something is out of the ordinary with their unit. A foul smell can emit from A/C units. When a burning or smokey smell comes from the unit, call for immediate professional help as it can indicate a serious problem.

If your A/C unit is aging and still uses R-22 Freon, it is a good time to call EcoZapp. R-22 Freon is being phased out by the federal government with the intention of conserving energy; it also has harmful effects on the ozone layer. After 1/1/2020, R-22 will become illegal and can no longer be manufactured or imported into the United States. In this case, it is the opinion of EcoZapp to proactively solve this problem rather than face costly repairs to an obsolete input; fixing a refrigerant leak on such a unit will be not be allowed. R-22 prices are soaring; in the meantime, it will be a costly repair. Another reason to proactively replace the unit is the simple concept of supply and demand. Units tend to crash during the hot Texas summer. Many people are reactive to this concept and have to go awhile without an A/C unit; that sounds miserable.

A financial indicator of an aging A/C unit is a high energy bill. If a cooling system is putting in overtime or working too hard to bring comfortability to the household, then it is probably time for a new unit. This will be recognizable when the utility industry sends you a bill and it is extremely high compared to previous bills. There are efficiencies in technology being made every day. A lower SEER rating may cost you a lot of money on the back end in that your unit is inefficient and needs to consumer a greater amount of kilowatt hours to cool the home. If your SEER rating is lower than 13, you can reduce kilowatt consumption by upgrade to a newly manufactured A/C unit; this alone can be a short payback window.

Another and common sense approach to replacing an A/C unit would be if the unit continually breaks down. It is not advisable to put a metaphorical band-aid on the situation; that tends to result in expensive sunk costs when you could simply put that repair money into a newer system that will be more efficient and will not cause you headaches. Dealing with a faulty A/C unit is a headache and burden that homeowners find irritating. That irritation can be alleviated by calling EcoZapp to bring peace of mind and comfortability back to your household and saved money back to your wallet. At EcoZapp, customers are neighbors and friends.