We’ve written recently about replacing aging air conditioners, especially since spring is an ideal time to have the work done. You’ll have a great new system ready to handle the coming summer season. But we’d like to address a specific factor used when determining if it’s time to replace your current system: Just how old is “too old” for an AC?
Age and the air conditioning system
The average lifespan of a residential air conditioning system is between 10 and 15 years. Most HVAC contractors recommend replacing any system that is 15 years or older, since at this point the AC will start to become more costly to run and decrease in its energy efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that consumers upgrade any air conditioner that is over 10 years old with a higher efficiency unit. This isn’t strictly because an air conditioner this old is likely to fail, but because technology has significantly surpassed it; a new high-efficiency unit is well worth the cost because it will rapidly start saving money. (And, thanks to the HERO program, it’s easier than ever to afford a new energy-efficient system with low cost, fixed interest rate financing.)
You can also use the age of your air conditioner to help make a quick calculation to determine if a repair is worth it or not. Take the age of the AC and multiply it by the estimate for the repair. If the result is more than $5,000, a replacement is probably the better option than the repair. For example, if you have a 15 year-old AC that needs a $400 dollar repair (15 x $400 = $6,000), you should replace the air conditioner. But a 12-year-old system that needs a $350 repair (12 x $350 = $4,200) might be fine. However, consider the advice of the ENERGY STAR program to move to an upgrade, since the unit is more than 10 years old.
Contact JW Heating and Air for service in Downey, CA. We are a HERO Program-certified contractor, and we’ll help you with finding a great replacement air conditioning system.