With the summer season hitting its peak heat, this is the time when it starts to become evident if your air conditioning system has entered into its dying days. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't know what kinds of things to watch out for, so they miss the early signs, leaving them in the heat with a broken air conditioner when it finally stops working. If you've been wondering if this is the season when your air conditioner is finally going to give out, there are a few things you can think about to determine how likely that might be. Here are a few questions that might help you figure it out.
How Old Is The System?
Most air conditioning systems will give you a little over a decade of service if you maintain it right and don't abuse it. As it nears the end of that timeframe, your likelihood of a complete failure increases significantly. Think about how old your system is, and if it's nearing that age or it's older, it's a really good idea to think about replacing it as soon as possible. Your HVAC technician can do a full inspection and let you know how much wear and tear it's showing, which will tell you if you need to replace it now or if you can wait until spring.
Is The Warranty Period Over?
If your air conditioner has reached the end of its warranty period, that by itself may not be cause for concern. However, if the warranty period is over AND the system is starting to need lots of repairs, such as if the fan motor is dying or there are other problems, it might make more sense financially to replace it with a new system instead of paying for increasingly frequent repairs now that the warranty has expired.
Is Your Home Cooling Still Consistent?
If your home isn't cooling as consistently as it used to, that's a sign that something isn't working right. Hot spots in the house could be the result of clogs in the air ducts or something simple like that, but it could also be the result of failures in your compressor operation. If it can't keep up with the demand anymore because of age, wear and tear, or other issues, that's a sure sign that you should invest in a new one.
If the changes are gradual, you can look at your energy bills over the last few summers. If your energy bills have been steadily climbing and the average temperatures haven't been that different, that may mean your air conditioner is working harder than it should. Look at the rate you pay per kilowatt hour when you're comparing costs, though. If the electric rates have gone up, you'll have to take that into consideration too.
If you determine that the system is struggling but you don't replace it, your utility bills will keep going up and you'll still have spots in the house that just aren't comfortable. Eventually, the air conditioner will fail completely, leaving you in an emergency situation. Investing in a new system now will help you keep your home temperature consistent while also saving you on your energy costs over time.
Is Your Home More Humid Than It Should Be?
Part of the role of your air conditioner is to draw the moisture out of the air in your home. If you're struggling with higher humidity than you're accustomed to, that means your air conditioning system isn't fully doing its job. You'll want to have a technician evaluate it, though. They can test the pressure in the system as well as the air output to help you identify the cause.
Knowing what to look for may save you from an unexpected air conditioning failure this summer. Talk with an air conditioning technician from a company like Dick Kearsley Service Center about any concerns you might have.