You probably wish your AC would just keep running efficiently forever, and you’d never have to call to get it fixed. Us too!
Unfortunately, eventually, everyone is stuck with an air conditioner that either isn’t working at all or at least isn’t working like it should be. But if your AC is not blowing cool air, or your air conditioner is making noises it didn’t before, how much will it cost to fix?
Not all AC issues are the same, but if you aren’t a trained AC technician, it might not be immediately obvious how serious the problem is. Should you repair it? Or do you need to replace your residential cooling system entirely? Here are a few signs that you could have a significant problem on your hands.
1. No Cool Air or Weak Air Flow
A textbook sign that your cooling system is in trouble is if you turn it on but the air that comes out of your vents isn’t cold, or if it feels like there’s barely any air flow. There are a number of reasons why your AC might not be producing cool air or adequate air flow—and it could also be a problem with your ductwork—but if your AC unit is severely damaged, it might end up cheaper and more beneficial to replace it.
2. Rising Energy Bills
Air conditioning units become less and less effective as they age and parts get worn out. Plus, the average efficiency of an AC that’s a decade or more old is going to be lower than the average efficiency of one of today’s models. If you’ve been watching your electricity bills rise summer after summer and you have an older AC unit, you could save yourself from more frequent repairs in the future by upgrading, and you’ll benefit from lower energy bills as well.
As a general rule of thumb, you’re a good candidate for AC replacement if:
Your AC is older than 10 years
Your AC has been repaired more than twice in the last 10 years
The price of repairs would cost more than 25% of the cost to replace your air conditioner
Your energy bills have increased by more than 10% compared to the previous year
3. Strange Sounds & Bad Smells
If you’re wondering, “What does it mean if I smell something bad from my AC?”, it’s not a great sign. If your air conditioner is running and you notice a dirty sock smell, you could be dealing with a moisture issue, which may or may not be too hard to fix. But a burning egg smell is a bad sign, and you should immediately turn off your AC (as well as the circuit breaker it’s connected to).
Trust Your AC to the Experts at Excel
The repair/replace dilemma is one that many homeowners struggle with, and the answer isn’t always black and white. Luckily, the technicians at Excel can make a difficult decision easier.
For nearly 70 years, we’ve been helping homeowners across the Shenandoah Valley make smart heating and cooling decisions that fit inside their budgets. We won’t upsell you on a new AC you don’t need, but we also won’t charge you for AC repair knowing that you’re probably just going to need to call again next month.