Is It Time To Replace Your AC System?
9 Signs You Should Not Ignore
With daytime temperatures soaring into the 80s in early May, you don’t need to wonder if it’s going to be a hot summer. But you may be wondering if your AC system is ready to handle another blazing-hot summer. Often, a professional tune-up and some minor repairs will ensure your system is ready for the season. One big question to ask yourself is how old is your AC. But there are other factors that can guide your decision between making repairs or going ahead with a replacement. Read on to learn more—and know that the pros at Bolkema are standing by to help with all your air conditioning needs.
Signs of Trouble
You won’t be able to miss some signs that your cooling system needs professional attention: Noise, including rattling, grinding and just louder operation means your equipment is working harder than it should. Other signals that your AC is having trouble can be more subtle. Here are 9 signs of pending problems you should never ignore:
- Increased humidity
- Excessive dripping
- Refrigerant leaking
- Thermostat problems
- Blowing hot air
- Poor airflow, uneven cooling
- Burning smells
- Moldy odors
- Too much dust
Repair or Replace?
A well-maintained system should provide at least 15 years of good service. The cost of a tune-up is usually worthwhile. It can prevent lots of small problems from turning into expensive repair jobs. But even with regular tune-ups, eventually age takes its toll. Repairs will get more frequent—and more expensive—once the warranty is expired.
If you do need a repair, we recommend the $5,000 rule: Multiply the age of your system by the cost of a repair. If it’s more than $5,000, you’re better off replacing your cooling equipment. So, for example, if you have a repair estimate of $1,200 for an 8-year-old system, you’d get $9,600—you’ll get better value from replacing your system.
The other thing to note with an older system is the type of refrigerant it uses. If your system that uses the phased-out R-22 refrigerant, you should definitely replace it. R-22 is hard to get—and very expensive.
After age, the other important factor to consider is performance. Did your cooling system keep you comfortable last year, or did you experience frequent breakdowns? Did you see a big spike in your energy use—even though you had a tune-up? That can be a big red flag that your system isn’t operating as efficiently as it should be. (This is a great way to take advantage of any usage information your energy company provides: it can help you see when high bills are coming from increased rates or higher energy use. One thing you can control, the other you can’t.)
If you made changes to your home since your AC system was installed—such as converting an attic or basement into a usable space or enclosed a screen porch to make it a year-round space, those areas may not be cooled by your system. Our high-efficiency SuperPak systems are perfect for small-duct and no-duct installations and can address the problem without the need for an ugly window unit or a whole system replacement.
Time for an Update?
If the signs indicate it’s time to replace your cooling equipment, the good news is that a new system will run more efficiently and help you cut your cooling costs by as much as a third. We can help access your needs and talk to you about trouble spots, like those that never seem to cool off.
The best system in the world is only as good as the installation, and that’s why we never treat any job as routine. We know no two homes are alike, even if they look similar from the street. We’ll even show you why an ultra-high efficiency system might not be worth the extra cost for you, and we’ll help you navigate your options and find the best choice for your budget and your space.
If your system still has a few good years, it’s never too soon to schedule your AC system maintenance. Our technicians will perform a multi-point precision tune-up to ensure your equipment is running right. Annual maintenance is the key to getting the best performance out of your home’s cooling system.
Whatever your needs, the pros at Bolkema are here to make sure your cooling equipment is ready for the season. Contact us today.