When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Modern air conditioners can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, with the average lifespan in the United States being 15 to 20 years. However, in Florida, the life expectancy of the system can be much lower due to the high levels of humidity, salt water and sulfur. The Department of Energy recommends replacing the air conditioning system after 10 years to achieve maximum efficiency. If you exchange your 15-year-old 12 SEER unit for a 16 SEER2 unit, you're looking at potential cooling cost savings of 40% per year*.

In most cases, the operating efficiency of an air conditioner decreases over time (or due to inadequate maintenance). This means that you could save close to 68% a year in cooling costs if you were to switch to a 16-unit SEER2* system. Upgrade to a system with an even higher SEER2 rating and your potential savings will increase. Proper maintenance has a direct effect on the reliability, efficiency, and life expectancy of your air conditioner. Even with regular maintenance, you may reach a point where your air conditioning system doesn't work well enough to keep your home comfortable during the hottest part of summer.

When the cooling part of the air conditioning system cannot do these things, the equipment is not working properly or there are problems with the ducts. The durability of the system can also depend on other factors, such as the quality of the original installation and the maintenance of the unit. If you require extensive repairs, it would be more beneficial to invest in a complete replacement to maximize your home's efficiency. Even if you're content with the temperature in your home, you probably aren't thrilled about the added costs of an always-on air conditioning system. If you've noticed a problem with your air conditioner, it may be time to consider replacing it.

If your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant, you can continue to use it, but you won't be able to perform any repairs with R-22 refrigerant refills. If you're uncertain whether it's time to replace your air conditioning system or not, it's best to consult a professional. They will be able to assess your current system and advise you on whether it's worth repairing or replacing. All new air conditioning units are manufactured to meet energy efficiency standards and are designed to be much more energy efficient than older models. Instead of spending money for every small repair, it may be more cost-effective to simply replace the air conditioner.