When to Replace An AC Unit? 8 Things to Consider

when to replace ac unit

Our trusty AC units play a vital role in keeping our homes cool and comfortable. But just like any other piece of equipment, air conditioning units have a lifespan, and there comes a time when they need to be replaced. Figuring out when to replace an AC unit and bid farewell to your old AC unit can be tricky. 

However, by considering a few key factors, you can decide whether it’s time for an upgrade. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of factors that should be considered when deciding whether to replace your AC unit.

The Age of the AC Unit

The age of your AC unit is an important factor to consider when determining when to replace an AC unit. ACs, like any other appliance, have a limited lifespan. On average, an AC unit can last between 10 to 15 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, usage, and the quality of the unit.

As your AC unit ages, it may become less efficient and prone to frequent breakdowns. This can lead to increased repair costs and decreased cooling performance. Additionally, older units may use outdated technology and less environmentally friendly refrigerants.

If your AC unit is approaching or has surpassed the average lifespan, it may be a good idea to start considering a replacement. Even if your unit is still functioning, upgrading to a newer model can offer several benefits. Newer AC units are designed with advanced features and technologies that improve energy efficiency, provide better cooling performance, and offer enhanced comfort options.

Increasingly Frequent Repairs

If your AC unit requires frequent repairs, it may indicate when to replace the HVAC system. As AC units age, they tend to be more prone to malfunctions and require repairs more often. Components wear out, and it becomes more challenging to find replacement parts, especially for older models. If you find yourself repeatedly calling the repair technician to fix your AC unit, it may be a sign that the system is reaching the end of its lifespan.

Not only can frequent repairs be inconvenient, but they can also become expensive over time. The cost of repairs can quickly accumulate and may exceed the cost of a new AC unit. By investing in a replacement, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a reliable system and avoid the hassle and financial burden of ongoing repairs.

Rising Energy Bills

Have you noticed a significant increase in your energy bills despite no change in your usage patterns? This could indicate that your AC unit is losing its efficiency and when to replace your air conditioner. Older units tend to be less energy-efficient, which means they consume more electricity to provide the same level of cooling. By upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model, you can save on your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact.

A Lack of Proper Cooling

The primary purpose of an AC unit is to keep your space comfortably cool. One common reason for a lack of cooling performance is wear and tear on the components. Over time, the efficiency of the compressor and other critical parts can decline, leading to reduced cooling capacity. This can result in uneven cooling, hot spots, or an inability to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If you find yourself continuously adjusting the thermostat or running your AC unit for extended periods without achieving the desired cooling, it clearly indicates that your unit is struggling. In such cases, this can be a key sign for replacing an AC unit and for a solution to restore that efficient and effective cooling.

Refrigerant Phase-Out

In recent years, there have been changes in regulations regarding the use of certain refrigerants, such as R-22 (also known as Freon). These refrigerants are being phased out due to their harmful impact on the ozone layer. 

If your AC unit uses an outdated refrigerant that is being phased out, it can be a good sign as to how often to replace an AC unit to comply with the new regulations. Upgrading to a unit that uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant will keep you compliant and reduce your ecological footprint.

Home Renovations or Additions

If you plan significant renovations or additions to your home, it’s worth considering whether your current AC unit can adequately handle the increased cooling demand. Adding square footage or altering the layout of your space may require a more powerful and efficient unit to ensure optimal comfort. Consult with an HVAC professional to assess whether your existing unit can accommodate the changes or if a replacement is necessary.

Technology and Efficiency Advancements

Technology in the HVAC industry is constantly evolving, and newer AC units often come with advanced features and enhanced energy efficiency. If your current unit lacks modern features such as programmable thermostats, zoning capabilities, or smart home integration, you might be missing out on improved comfort and energy savings. 

Upgrading to a newer model can offer you the benefits of these advancements, allowing you to customize your cooling preferences and maximize efficiency.

Other Environmental Considerations

In today’s world, environmental consciousness is an important consideration for many homeowners. Upgrading your AC unit to a more energy-efficient model can help reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a greener planet.

 Look for units with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, as they indicate superior energy efficiency. Additionally, some AC units utilize alternative refrigerants with lower environmental impact, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.


By evaluating these aspects and consulting with HVAC professionals, you can decide whether it’s time to upgrade your AC unit. 

Remember, a new and efficient AC unit provides improved comfort and offers potential energy savings and a reduced environmental impact. If you want to learn more, contact our team at Hurliman Heating & Air Conditioning

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