Should I Replace My 15-Year-Old Air Conditioner?

June 23, 2021

With adequate upkeep, your air conditioner will deliver worry-free cooling for a long time. But, like any other machine in your home, it will eventually need to be updated. Knowing when to get a new one is essential to avoid expensive repairs, costly utility bills and interrupted comfort.

When it involves keeping cool and your residence’s energy efficiency, our Kilbourne Heating & AC pros have your best interests at the forefront. There’s a lot that goes into deciding when your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Here are a couple of things you should consider when you’re thinking about updating your 15-year-old air conditioner.

Age

On average, the Department of Energy says many air conditioners last for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the halfway point. It’s recommended to get started prepping for air conditioning installation before it fails so you aren’t sweltering while you’re waiting for installation.

Trustworthiness

How reliable is your air conditioner? Does it cool dependably, even on the warmest days? Or is it routinely malfunctioning? When your air conditioner becomes less reliable it’s time to begin considering getting an updated one.

Repair Expenses

Over your air conditioner’s lifetime, it’s normal for it to need a handful of minor repairs. But if your air conditioner repair cost is more than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s recommended to just replace it.

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner comes with a SEER rating, which measures how well it uses electricity to produce cooling. If your air conditioner was installed in 2006, it will be at least 13 SEER to meet federal guidelines. However, your air conditioner becomes inefficient as it ages.

As of now, 15–18 SEER is a popular number, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with higher SEER ratings are often pricier but could pay for themselves over time through improved energy savings. And purchasing an energy-efficient air conditioner, especially one that’s an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, can make you eligible for additional rebates.

Comfort

Are you cool when your air conditioner is working? Or are you often dialing down the temperature to keep cool? An old air conditioner could have trouble keeping your residence comfy due to lower efficiency. A modern air conditioner, particularly a variable-speed air conditioner, can lower high humidity and hot and cold spots. Instead of running at full speed constantly, these air conditioners work at multiple speeds to adapt your comfort.

Noise

Your air conditioner should give cooling you can feel, not hear. If noise is a concern, check with us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Many of these air conditioners cool at a sound level that’s like a normal conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Getting a smart thermostat is a wise method to maximize your energy efficiency, with minimal effort needed from you. And, depending on the rebates offered by your utility company, you could be able to get a free smart thermostat or get one for not much. The majority of these thermostats can pick up on your temperature preferences and then create an energy-efficient schedule to match. They also know when you’re at home or away and change temps as necessary.

If you have an aging air conditioner, a smart thermostat might not work with it. Getting a new air conditioner is a wise method to ensure smart thermostat compatibility.

Refrigerant Type

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely relies on Freon®. Also known as R-22 refrigerant, Freon is no longer being made as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. You can see if your air conditioner runs on R-22 by checking the sticker on the outside unit, which will include the refrigerant style.

If your air conditioner is running fine, you can keep on using it. However, if it ever develops a refrigerant leak, fixing the problem will be expensive. That’s because Freon is only available in limited, recycled amounts.

Newer air conditioners use Puron®, or R-410A. But you can’t just add Puron in a Freon air conditioner, as pressure requirements are different.

Our Technicians Make Air Conditioning Installation Stress-Free

If you’re still deciding whether you should replace your 15-year-old air conditioner within the immediate future, consider this. The Department of Energy says doing air conditioning replacement for a 10-year-old model can provide 25–40% in energy savings! And those savings can really accumulate over time.

We realize that air conditioner cost is your first question. That’s why working with Kilbourne Heating & AC for air conditioning installation in Delray Beach and surrounding areas is stress-free and affordable. Our techs will help you select the right solution for your needs and then go over all the possibilities. These include special offers to help you save more and financing for qualified customers to make your new air conditioner work with your budget.

Reach us at 561-287-7071 to request your free, no-pressure estimate right away!