Icky, sticky.  Hot and sweaty.  Even for those of us who enjoy the heat, Texas summers can be oppressively hot.  Your home is your castle, and I don’t know of too many modern kings or queens who would settle for living in a sweltering environment! 


That’s why someone wise and brilliant invented air conditioning.  AC keeps us comfortable in our homes and allows us to enjoy the summer season without melting into little puddles.  If you’re anything like me, you have a healthy respect and appreciation for your AC unit.  


Having an air conditioning emergency or breakdown in the heat of the summer season is definitely a scenario you want to avoid.  


But how do you know when it’s time to replace your air conditioner?  


Routine Maintenance and Replacement Schedule


Ok, this one is not rocket science…but it can save you from a sticky situation.  Having your air conditioner maintained at the beginning of each summer season can keep it functioning in tip-top shape.  Also, having an expert look it over can alert you to any potential issues and help you budget for the future purchase of a new unit when the time comes.  


While older models last 10-12 years, many new AC models can last 15-20 years, especially with proper maintenance.  Armed with this knowledge, you can expect your AC to have a long, healthy existence while also putting away funds in preparation for its replacement.  


Even with the best of care, there will eventually come a time when it makes more sense to purchase a new AC than to repair the old one.  Unlike furnaces, after all, air conditioners exist outdoors and are exposed to harsh elements their entire lives.  


With proper planning, though, there’s no reason to have to unexpectedly splurge on a new AC system for your home.


Warning Signs


If your air conditioner completely stops functioning, it’s pretty clear that it needs attention.  But well before you get to that point, there are some telltale signs you can watch for that may give you an early heads up that all is not well in AC land.  Here are some common issues to watch out for:


Skyrocketing Energy Bills 

It’s normal for your energy bill to fluctuate a little depending on the season and 

your usage.  But if your bill suddenly skyrockets in the summer season and doesn’t come back down for two or more months (and if the seasonal temperatures and/or your usage haven’t changed dramatically since last year), suspect an inefficient air conditioner.  


Dust, Dust, Everywhere

You might not immediately associate frequent dusting binges with an air conditioner malfunction, but here’s the thing.  Dust comes from outside, and if you have leaks in your AC ducts, more outside air (and thus dust) can be entering your home without being filtered.  While ducts can be replaced, faulty ducts can be a sign that other parts of your AC unit are also aging and degrading.  It may be time to consider an upgrade.


Climate Change

Yep.  As the summers get hotter and hotter, your AC has to work harder and harder (not to mention more weeks/months of the year).  This may mean that your air conditioner is working overtime and can’t keep up.  When your air conditioning was originally installed, its size and power were calculated to cool your home based on the current climate conditions.  Things may have changed quite a bit in the past decade.  If you’re noticing hotter temperatures, it’s worth double-checking that your AC is rated to keep up.


Strange Sounds and Other Symptoms

I might not need to tell you this, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway.  If your air conditioner is making weird noises, it is most likely not good news.  Don’t let it get worse and worse.  Call an expert to decide if the problem is worth fixing or if replacement is a better option.  


The same goes for odd AC symptoms like leaking water, blowing warm air, or just not seeming very vigorous.  Your unit may be heading down a slippery slope.  Don’t let it die without having a plan to replace it.  


The Comfort Crew

At Comfort Crew, we know that a well-functioning air conditioner is crucial for comfortable living.  Our expert technicians provide excellent air conditioning maintenance in San Marcos and can also advise you when it may be time to consider getting a new unit altogether.  


Every situation is unique, but a good rule of thumb is to consider whether the cost of repair is more than half the cost of replacement.  If it is, then a new air conditioner is likely your best option.  But you don’t have to make that decision alone.  Call the Comfort Crew today!