Living in Florida means you are constantly playing a game with your thermostat. What on some days feels like the perfect temperature, on others, it makes you want to get a towel to wipe some sweat off your forehead. Whatever temperature makes you more comfortable is great, as long as the AC unit responds faithfully to your requests and never breaks down- until it does.
Eventually, like most homeowners, you may experience an AC malfunction. You may become aware of the system not working when you adjust your thermostat and realize it is not firing up. You can only hope it will be a quick fix, but you also know that there is a chance your AC repairman will suggest a replacement.
Factors to Consider While Deciding to Repair or Replace Your AC
Your Unit’s Age
It is generally recommended that AC units be replaced when they are between 10 and 15 years old. However, if your unit breaks down when it is 8 or 9 years old, you may be better off replacing it.
Use of Freon
Freon is being phased out in an effort by the federal government to conserve energy nationwide. This will affect you directly if your unit uses Freon since it will get harder and harder to get. If your AC breaks down, you must consider replacing it.
How Often It Breaks Down
If you have to deal with constant breakdowns and your AC technician’s number is on speed dial on your phone, a replacement may be in your future. It simply does not make sense to keep pouring money into an AC unit on its last legs.
Costs of Repair
It’s common for an AC unit to need to be repaired occasionally. If yours is breaking down too often, the costs of repairing it may not make sense anymore. You may be spending more than what a new unit would cost.
If, after considering all the above points, you conclude that your AC should be repaired, here are some things to look out for.
Warm Air Circulating in Your Home
If you feel that the air coming out of your vents is not cool, it may be due to a problem with your evaporator coil or the refrigerant leaking. Call your AC technician to find out. Otherwise, it may be because:
- There is an issue with your thermostat
- Heat is coming in through your home’s windows
- There is debris surrounding your AC unit
- You are losing cool air due to leaky ductwork
- There is an issue with the insulation in your home
Dirty Air Filter
Your AC cools air and then cycles it back into your house. As it does this, it crosses through the unit’s filter. Over time, the filter gets clogged with dirt and bacteria, which not only compromises the air you and your family breathe but also makes the AC unit work harder and wear out faster. Get into the habit of changing your filter frequently, particularly during the summer.
AC units cool air by constantly cycling refrigerant between liquid and gaseous forms. As it turns on, hot air goes into the unit, the refrigerant absorbs the heat, and cool air comes out. Amazingly, the refrigerant does not get used up. So, if the levels are decreasing, there is a leak, and the AC unit may get damaged.
Sensors Not Functioning Correctly
If the sensors in your unit malfunction, your AC can simply stop running, or the thermostat could misinterpret the temperature of the air passing through the system, and the unit may turn on more frequently than it needs to. This lowers the unit’s lifespan and leads to breakdowns.
When condensation builds up inside the unit, the moisture will drip from the evaporator coils onto a tray located underneath it. When the evaporator coil cracks or shifts, the condensate will not end up where it should. Mould and algae may develop, or moisture could leach into the unit, causing moisture problems in the home.
Call an experienced AC repair technician whenever you need repairs for AC due to any of the above problems and keep your AC unit running smoothly for years to come.