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8 Signs That Tell You to Replace Your AC Unit

HVAC services in Columbus, OH

When the warm summer weather arrives in Columbus, you’ll need a reliable AC unit to keep your home cool and comfortable. If your unit is struggling to keep up with the heat, then it may be time to consider a replacement. But how do you know when your unit is ready for an upgrade? There are actually quite a few indications that a replacement AC is in your near future. Here are eight signs that our team at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros recommends watching for.

1. Weak Airflow and Cool Air Production

This issue is one of the easiest to detect and a sure sign that something is amiss with your unit’s performance. After your AC turns on, you should feel cool air coming from the air vents within a few minutes. However, if the room still feels stuffy and warm, then the AC is struggling to keep up with your needs. Try placing your hand near a floor vent while the unit is running to gauge the unit’s performance. If the air coming out feels warm or room temperature, then the unit is due for service. In some cases, warm air is caused by a relatively minor issue like clogged ductwork, but it’s also a common sign that the unit is giving out.

Similar to warm air, weak airflow is also a red flag that all is not well with your AC. Good, healthy airflow is necessary to effectively move cool air throughout your home. If the airflow feels too weak, your home will never cool down to an appropriate temperature. Weak airflow can sometimes be attributed to faulty ductwork or a dying compressor. A technician will let you know if repair or replacement is the best option.

2. Excessive Moisture Buildup

Even well-functioning AC units will create a bit of moisture, but excess moisture indicates a problem. Fluid should never drip, leak, or pool around the base of the unit. One of the most common causes of a leaky AC unit is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant plays a vital role in the cooling process, but it’s also a toxic chemical and dangerous to come into contact with. Even plain water leaks will eventually lead to issues like rust and mold.

3. Unusual Sounds During Operation

Is your air conditioning suddenly clanging, squeaking, or buzzing? While even healthy units generate sound during operation, it should never be louder than a gentle hum. Unusual sounds often indicate that a mechanical problem is present within the unit. Common culprits include refrigerant leaks, loose parts, and bad compressors. These issues won’t go away on their own but can be solved by upgrading to new equipment.

4. Unpleasant Smells

The air produced by your AC should smell clean and fresh. However, certain AC issues lead to foul-smelling air circulating throughout your home. If you smell mold, mildew, smoke, or burning plastic while the AC is running, then a major problem is afoot. Not only does mildew smell bad, but it can pose a health hazard by circulating mold spores throughout your home. Likewise, smokey and burning smells should never be ignored because they could indicate your unit is at risk of catching fire. To be on the safe side, it’s best to upgrade to a newer unit with modern safety features.

5. Unusually High Energy Bills

It’s normal for energy bills to rise during the summer months – especially if a heat wave strikes – but if your bills are spiking for no reason, then the AC is most likely to blame. Malfunctioning air conditioners often have to work harder to meet your comfort goals, meaning they consume more energy. Unfortunately, this usually leads to a downward spiral where the unit has to work harder and longer until it eventually fails altogether. Instead of prolonging the situation and racking up pricey bills in the process, it’s better to replace the unit as quickly as possible.

Additionally, older AC units are significantly less energy efficient than their newer counterparts. Upgrading to a new unit can significantly lower your utility bills as well as minimize your carbon footprint. Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros carries a range of dependable, high-efficiency units.

6. AC Not Communicating With Thermostat

Think of your thermostat as the command center of the entire cooling system. It gauges the temperature inside your home and tells the AC when to kick on to cool down the space. Once the AC reaches your desired temperature, the thermostat tells it to turn off until it’s needed again. If the connection between the thermostat and AC is interrupted, the AC won’t perform properly. It may kick on for just a few minutes or not at all. In some cases, the solution is as simple as changing the thermostat’s batteries. However, this could also indicate a major issue with the unit’s electrical system. Electrical repairs are often complex and pricey; oftentimes, it’s more budget friendly to simply replace the unit.

7. Unit Exceeded Its Lifespan

An air conditioner’s average lifespan is roughly a decade. With regular maintenance and tune-ups, you might be able to extend that by a year or two, but it’s relatively rare to see cooling units last much longer than that. If your unit is close to the 10-year mark, then it’s time to start planning a replacement. Replacing an aging unit will provide you with enhanced performance, efficiency, and reliability. You’ll also notice that your new unit has a much easier time keeping up with your comfort needs during hot weather. By planning your AC replacement in advance, you’re much less likely to experience a crisis situation where you AC gives out by surprise. Instead, you can plan a smooth transition to your new AC and experience uninterrupted cooling service.

8. Frequent or Pricey Repairs

Even relatively new and dependable units may need repairs from time to time but not on a monthly or even yearly basis. If you find yourself adding your AC repair technician to speed dial, it’s time to step back and reassess the situation. After all, you don’t want to find yourself paying a hefty cost for temporary solutions. There are many situations where replacing a unit is more practical and affordable than repairs. If the unit is old, improperly installed, an unreliable brand, or didn’t receive regular maintenance during its lifetime, then replacement is probably the ideal option.

Your Cooling Experts in Columbus

Do any of these signs sound familiar? If so, it’s time to start exploring options for AC replacement. At Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros, our team is standing by and ready to help you choose the perfect unit for your home. We’ll listen to your needs and help you narrow down the right option for your budget. We’re your one-stop shop for AC and furnace installations, and repairs.

If you need air conditioner replacement in Columbus, call the experts at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros today!