If you live in south-east Queensland, you’ll know that having a working air conditioner installed in your home or business is indispensable when summer temperatures soar. After all, who wants to brave the hot, humid Aussie summers without the sweet relief of air conditioning on your side?
But how do you know when to replace your air conditioner? To help, we’ve prepared a list of 7 signs you need to repair or replace your air con right now.
Life of An Air Conditioner
Like all appliances, your air conditioner won’t last forever, although a well-maintained air conditioner will typically last between 15 to 20 years. Ultimately, your mileage will vary, depending on the unit itself, the climate you live in, how often you use your air conditioner, and how well cared for it is. Servicing your air con at least once a year will keep it clean and in tip-top shape. Check your air con manufacturer’s product specifications or manual for an estimate of how long you can expect your air conditioner to last.
If you’re having trouble with your air conditioner, your first move should be to check your product specifications or manual to find out your air con’s expected lifespan.
Here are a few signs you may need to replace your HVAC system soon.
When To Replace Air Conditioner: 6 Warning Signs
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #1: It’s No Longer Cooling Your Home
Is your thermostat set to 25 degrees but your home still feels stifling? Your air con is designed to provide a consistent air temperature at the setting you’ve selected. If the air your air conditioner is producing is inconsistent or doesn’t match the thermostat, it’s time to investigate.
First things first: Check your air conditioner vents for airflow. Hot air when cooling suggests a serious problem like a damaged compressor. If you discover little to no cool air flowing out, this is a warning sign your air conditioner’s compressor isn’t long for this world.
Next, ask your air conditioning specialist to inspect your filters, valves, condensation drains and coils for obstructions. Your air con professional may have an easy fix. But if your HVAC unit is worn-out and too past its warranty, you may have no choice but to replace your old unit with a brand new one.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #2: Your Air Conditioner Is Noisy
Is your air con making strange noises? This could be a sign your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced.
A working air conditioner operates almost silently. If you know your air conditioner well, you’ll be familiar with all the little sounds it makes throughout the hour as it cycles. If your air con has been unusually noisy of late, this may mean problems like a damaged or broken fan, a loose inside part, or dirt build-up. If your air con regularly makes a screeching, grinding, grating, rattling, buzzing or ticking noise, this likely indicates a serious problem.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #3: Your Air Conditioner Is Giving Off A Strange Smell
Does your air conditioner give off a weird smell when you turn it on? Strange smells are most likely to happen if your air conditioner hasn’t been cleaned or maintained properly. Your filter might need replacing. The insulation may have become damaged. Your air conditioner’s ductwork may be growing mould. If this is the case, it’s important to fix pronto. Dirt, mould and mildew inside your air conditioning unit can compromise the purity of air in your home and cause health issues for your family.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #4: Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking
Is your air conditioner leaking? Many people don’t realise a leaking air conditioner can be a serious health issue — especially if the leak is refrigerant. Inside your home, your air conditioner should ideally stay dry all year round. If your air con is leaking, ask your air conditioning technician to inspect the leak right away to determine the type and source of the leak. Your technician will let you know if it’s fixable or if you’ll need a new air conditioning unit.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #5: Your Air Conditioner Is Short Cycling
All air conditioners are designed to cycle on and off as they reach and maintain your selected temperature. But if you notice your air con is struggling to start, or it’s switching on and off randomly, you may need a repair or replacement. Short cycling puts stress on your air con, eroding its lifespan. With any luck, your air con has simply blown a fuse. But if not, it may be time to start shopping for a new unit.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #6: Your Electricity Bills Are Spiking
Have your electricity bills spiked recently and you’re not sure why? While it’s normal for your energy bills to fluctuate a little between summer and winter, if you notice your energy bills are reaching astronomical heights, we recommend performing an ‘energy audit’ to investigate the cause. Try installing a device to track how much electricity your home uses. You’ll soon know whether your air conditioner is the culprit behind the surge in electricity costs.
If your air conditioner is consuming more power than it should, it’s worth calling in an air conditioning expert to work out why your air conditioner is less efficient. It may be that your air conditioner is suffering from diminished cooling capacity and struggling to maintain your desired temperature. If this is the case, quick fixes you can try include cleaning the air vents, replacing your filters, and checking for lumps or knots in the condensing coil. If your air conditioner is reaching the end of its working life, this problem may not be fixable.
Reason To Replace Air Conditioner #7: Your Air Conditioner Keeps Needing Repairs
Does your air conditioner need frequent repairs? Has it exceeded its warranty? Air conditioners tend to wear out slowly — until they break down abruptly. If your air conditioner has become more trouble and expense than it’s worth, and your repairs are no longer covered by the warranty, buying a new replacement air conditioner may be the more affordable option.
Recycling Your Air Conditioner
Of course, if you decide to part with your old air conditioner, we strongly recommend recycling it responsibly. Air conditioners contain significant amounts of valuable, recyclable materials such as metal and plastic, as well as refrigerant gases that can be toxic. Not only does recycling give these materials a second life, but it also helps prevent toxic substances from entering South East Queensland’s natural ecosystems.
All you need to do is donate your old air conditioner to a speciality recycling facility in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. The steel, copper and plastics in your old air conditioner parts will be salvaged and transformed into brand new products.