Welcome to the “dog days of summer,” that late summer period when the weather is the hottest and muggiest. You can chase away the dog days of summer in your house with a powerful air conditioning system, but these days are also a period when ACs can seriously struggle.
It’s not just because of the heat, but because of all the stress the ACs have already undergone. In fact, if you’ve got an air conditioner that’s lagging at the end of the summer, you may need to schedule something bigger than repairs. It may be time for an HVAC replacement in Charleston, SC.
Is this really the end of your trusty ol’ AC? Let’s look into the possibilities.
The Importance of System Age
The age of your air conditioning system will play a large role in determining if it’s time to have it replaced. The average central AC system will last for 10-15 years if it has maintenance. (Without maintenance, it may only last 6-8 years.)
Sometimes an air conditioner will reach 20 years, but we don’t recommend trying to push a unit that hard as it risks massive energy waste and the chance of an emergency break down. If your AC is experiencing several of the problems listed below and it’s getting close to 15 years or it’s older, then a replacement becomes a good option.
If the problem you’re having with your air conditioning system is that it isn’t cooling all the rooms as evenly as it once did, this is a major warning that the AC is losing its cooling capacity. The unit is producing enough cooling for the central rooms of the house, but not the more distant ones. If the problem isn’t due to a faulty thermostat or a clogged air filter, you’ll want experts to analyze the air conditioner and determine if it’s starting to die.
What if your home isn’t getting cool enough in general? Your AC once had no trouble handling the hottest days, but now the house stays too warm no matter how you set the thermostat. First, don’t keep lowering the thermostat to overcome this problem, as that puts the air conditioner at a higher risk of overheating and breaking down.
Check on the air filter and see that the outside condenser is clean and clear of obstructions. If you still don’t know what’s happening, have technicians look to see if there’s a specific problem (such as leaking refrigerant) or if the AC has worn down too far.
Consider Repair Costs
If a repair is possible, make sure that the cost is worthwhile. The older an AC, the less desirable the repair. If you have a 15-year-old AC, don’t pay for any repair that is more than half the cost of getting a new air conditioner. In general, we don’t recommend paying to repair an AC if the cost of the repair multiplied by the age of the unit is greater than 5,000. (“The Rule of 5,000.”)
Need AC help in late summer? Just reach out to Carolina Climate Control and we’ll say “The Moose Is Loose in Your Neighborhood!”