3 Indicators That the Life Span of Your Home’s Air Conditioner Is Nearing Its End
When your home’s air conditioner is humming along in good working order, you’re able to enjoy a cool, comfortable haven from the summer heat and humidity. If the system’s reliability is questionable, though, you’re no doubt wondering how long it will last and how you’ll know it’s time to consider replacement. There are some easy-to-spot indicators that can warn you that the A/C is nearing the end of its service life:
- Age of the equipment – The average air conditioner life span is roughly 15 years. As an A/C ages, its reliability, efficiency and cooling capabilities gradually decline, even if it receives annual professional checkups and cleanings. Over time, you can expect to see more frequent repair bills, as well. If your equipment is over 10 years old, replacing it before serious problems develop can let you avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of a mid-summer failure.
- High utility bills – If your electric bill rises sharply in the summer months, an inefficient air conditioner is likely the culprit. Just 10 years ago, the standard A/C seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating was 10. In comparison, the efficiency of today’s models range from 13 and 24 SEER. To put these ratings in perspective, a older 10 SEER A/C consumes 60 percent more energy than a new 16 SEER unit. Investing in an efficient Energy Star-rated equipment can slash consumption by an additional 15 percent.
- Humidity issues – As the cooling capacity of an air conditioner decreases, its ability to remove moisture from the air also declines. An aging and inefficient A/C often doesn’t circulate air effectively, so a home stays stuffy and sticky even when the equipment is running. A warm, humid living space provides the ideal conditions where mold and mildew can flourish and degrade indoor air quality. If you’re noticing musty odors, peeling paint and water damage on the woodwork and ceilings, it’s likely due to aging cooling equipment.