Our air conditioning systems keep us comfortable day in and day out, often without much in the way of appreciation. It’s almost an assumed luxury nowadays to have temperature controlled rooms pretty much everywhere we go, and we’re all truly better off because of it! That being said, HVAC systems (unlike some new cars) aren’t completely autonomous. Without proper care, they will eventually need repairs, and at some point even replacement. How can you truly know when a replacement is needed? Let’s take a look at a few signs below.
Age of your AC System
The average life expectancy of an AC system is 15-20 years. Obviously less if you live in a severe climate, and often much longer if you live in a temperate zone. But a good rule of thumb is if you are beginning to experience problems that add up to over 30% of the cost to replace the unit, it’s time to think about replacement. Why not just fix it and keep going? Think of your furnace like a car; now imagine that car has 200,000 miles and is 20 years old. Unless there’s sentimental value, we would all see the value in upgrading to a more efficient car with a fresh warranty. Your HVAC system is the same. Spending now for a fresh system allows you to start saving on utility bills immediately, enjoy the cost free future of a fresh warranty as well as applying the price you would be paying in repairs toward the new furnace. So by using our original equation, if an old AC system has a problem costing 30% of replacement value, when you opt to replace it instead of fixing it, you’re potentially saving 30%, costly inefficiencies and surprise unexpected future repairs. This is the model that we live by here at Thomson AC, and if we bring up the topic of a new system, this is probably why.
You start experiencing thermostat problems
Sometimes what is seen as a problem with an AC system is actually an issue with your thermostat. A faulty piece can cause your system to not work at all, or cause unpredictable behavior. This is usually as simple as replacing the thermostat, so don’t forget to rule this out if you are having issues with your system!
Moisture is building up
If you are noticing moisture building up near your AC unit, it could be a sign of a serious leak. These can be a real risk to you and your family, and should be looked at immediately by a trained professional. Leaks can lead to mold, rot and a myriad of other problems. Oftentimes leaks can be fixed if the unit just needs adjustment, maintenance or a replacement part. But others it signals that drain pans and other components are rusting and withering away. If the issue is bad enough, a replacement might be the right call to make.
Strange smells or sounds are coming from the HVAC system
Out of the ordinary sounds or smells should be cause for alarm with your system. There could be a number of things going wrong, some of them more serious than others. For instance, if you are smelling a foul, rotten egg smell coming from your system, you might have a gas leak, or it could be “dirty sock syndrome” where the aluminum PH balance in your system is reacting to naturally occurring bacteria in your home. The smell of mildew could mean that your system isn’t draining properly or that your duct system has a leak and is soaking up water. Burning plastic or smoke smell could be the sign of an electrical short or burning components. Any smell that you don’t think is normal should be cause to have a pro come and take a look. Don’t put off the chore of having someone out to assess the problem. Doing so can mean more expensive repairs, or even going from needing repairs at all, to needing a full replacement!
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms with your system, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (562) 201-3014. At Thomson AC, we pride ourselves on providing the best residential HVAC services in Cerritos, CA and surrounding areas. We will work with you to repair your current system, or replace your system with a new model that fits your needs, budget, and home. We look forward to serving you!
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