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

June 23, 2021

With proper service, your air conditioner will offer worry-free cooling for years. But, like any other machine in your house, it will at some point need to be updated. Knowing when to get a new one is essential to skip pricey repairs, expensive utility bills and interrupted comfort.

When it comes to keeping cool and your home’s energy efficiency, our Three Rivers Heating & Cooling pros are looking out for your best interests. There’s a lot that goes into figuring out when your air conditioner requires replacement. Here are a few points you should consider when you’re thinking about upgrading your 15-year-old air conditioner.

Age

In most instances, the Department of Energy says many air conditioners run for 15–20 years. If yours is 15 years old, it’s well past the halfway point. It’s wise to get started prepping for air conditioning installation before it goes out so you aren’t sweating while you’re waiting for a new one.

Trustworthiness

How trustworthy is your air conditioner? Does it cool reliably, even on the warmest days? Or is it routinely needing repairs? When your air conditioner starts becoming less trustworthy it’s time to begin thinking about getting an updated one.

Repair Expenses

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

Energy Efficiency

Every air conditioner has a SEER rating, which ranks how well it consumes electricity to produce cold air. If your air conditioner was installed in 2006, it will be at least 13 SEER according to federal mandates. However, your air conditioner becomes inefficient as it ages.

Today, 15–18 SEER is a popular range, but efficiency can go as high as the mid-20s. Air conditioners with bigger SEER ratings are usually pricier but may pay for themselves over time through improved energy savings. And getting an energy-efficient air conditioner, especially one that’s an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, can make you eligible for additional rebates.

Comfort

Are you comfortable when your air conditioner is on? Or are you continuously switching the temperature to stay cool? An aging air conditioner could have problems keeping your residence comfy because of lower efficiency. A modern air conditioner, particularly a variable-speed air conditioner, can reduce high humidity and hot and cold spots. Instead of cooling at full blast constantly, these air conditioners operate at multiple speeds to fine-tune your comfort.

Noise

Your air conditioner should provide cooling you can feel, not hear. If noise is annoying you, ask us about upgrading to a variable-speed air conditioner. Most of these air conditioners run at a sound level that’s like a regular conversation.

Smart Thermostat Compatibility

Adding a smart thermostat is a wise way to stay on top of energy efficiency, with minimal effort necessary from you. And, depending on the rebates available by your utility company, you may be able to get a free smart thermostat or get one for a greatly reduced price. Most of these thermostats can learn from your temperature preferences and then create an energy-efficient schedule to match. They also know when you’re at home or gone and alter temps as necessary.

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

Refrigerant Type

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. Also known as R-22 refrigerant, Freon is no longer being made due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. You can see if your air conditioner runs on R-22 by reviewing the sticker on the outside unit, which will include the refrigerant type.

If your air conditioner is operating fine, you can keep on using it. However, if it ever has a refrigerant leak, solving the problem will be pricey. That’s due to the fact Freon is only available in decreased, recycled amounts.

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

Our Professionals Make Air Conditioning Installation Stress-Free

If you’re still trying to decide whether you should replace your 15-year-old air conditioner soon, think over this. The Department of Energy says doing air conditioning replacement for a 10-year-old model can lead to 25–40% in energy savings! And those savings can really add up as time passes.

We are aware that air conditioner cost is your top question. That’s why collaborating with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling for air conditioning installation in Portland and surrounding areas is stress-free and affordable. Our techs will help you choose 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 accommodate your budget.

Reach us at 503-213-4433 to request your free, no-pressure estimate today!