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End of Summer and the Great “Repair vs. Replace” AC Debate

air-conditioning-repairIt’s already the second half of August, and peeking over the horizon is the official end of summer in September. We aren’t out of hot weather trouble in North Carolina yet, but now is a good time to take summary of your air conditioning system’s performance over the hottest parts of the year and ask the big question: “Is it time to replace the air conditioner in the coming fall, or can I stick with repairs as needed for a few more years?”

Autumn is one of the better times to arrange for an air conditioning system replacement in Zebulon, NC. You’ll have fewer worries about the short period when your house will go without cooling, and you’ll be prepared for any of those fall heat wave surprises. But you don’t want to arrange for an air conditioning replacement unless you have to. The more effective and efficient performance you get from your current system, the better a return on your original investment you’ll receive.

Some Warnings Signs during Summer of a Dying AC

Let’s first look at some of the signals your air conditioning system may have been sending you over the summer that it’s ready for retirement.

  • Inflated electrical bills: Unless you’ve had significant changes in your household that have required you to use the AC more often, your electrical bills should remain about the same each summer. Sudden spikes might mean repair needs. But if repairs (as well as routine maintenance) aren’t reversing the trend, the air conditioner may be over the hill and ready for a replacement.
  • Noisy operation: One strange noise may be deemed a repair problem. More than one feels like a dying air conditioner. You don’t want an AC that’s turned into a noise polluter every time it switches on.
  • Hot spots around the house: Did the air conditioner this summer have trouble providing the cool comfort you’re accustomed? Are some rooms hotter than they should be? These are signs of an air conditioner that’s declining. If standard fixes aren’t reversing this problem, and it’s not leaks in the air ducts, the AC may be too aged.

What Is “Too Old” for an AC?

Good question! The answer is that most central air conditioning systems can last between 10 to 15 years, which is also the range for most warranties. The best regular maintenance should be able to push an air conditioner to the 15-year mark, but past that point you can expect wear to catch up to the point repairs will become prohibitively expensive and frequent. When you have an AC in or above the 10–15 range, any repair that costs half the price of a replacement isn’t worth it, and cumulated repairs over $500 are also not worth it.

Call for Repair Professionals First

But… make sure you are cautious about your home’s air conditioning system and don’t leap to have it replaced when a less expensive repair can keep it going. Contact our HVAC professionals for a diagnosis when you suspect the air conditioner has trouble—or if it’s already showing it has trouble. We’ll give you an honest assessment of the system and the advice you need for the best way forward with home cooling.

Serving the Triangle Area of North Carolina: Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

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