Last week we brought up a topic that is often on homeowners’ minds when another long hot season in Southern California wraps up: replacing an old air conditioner. The question of whether you should retire an AC and replace it with a new system or let it continue with repairs is a tough one to answer. We can’t give you a specific answer in a blog post, because every air conditioner and home situation is different. But we can look into the issue of an air conditioner’s age and when it becomes simply too old to be worth keeping.
Air conditioning age
A standard central air conditioner today will have an estimated lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Each unit will have its own manufacturer’s estimate on it. Higher efficiency ACs sometimes have lower lifespans because they contain narrower and thinner coils to allow for more effective heat transfer. Once your AC is at or over its lifespan estimate, you should start thinking about a replacement. When you actually replace it will usually depend on its behavior and how much stress it undergoes. If the air conditioner needs a repair that would cost more than half the price of replacing it, then the repair isn’t worth the money and you should instead have a new AC put in. If you accumulate $500 or more in repairs over a year, it’s also wise to retire the AC.
Considering the heat we’ve experience this summer, replacing an air conditioner that is 12 years or older—even if it doesn’t show repair needs—is good planning. Call on an HVAC technician to examine the system and advise you about the best way forward for energy-efficient and effective cooling.
JW Heating and Air provides air conditioning repair and replacement services in Walnut, CA and throughout the Greater Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, and San Gabriel areas.