When it comes to keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, there aren’t too many upgrades that have as big of an impact as installing a new air conditioning unit, whether it’s an indoor unit or an outdoor unit.
When you think about all the other upgrades you can make to improve your home’s energy efficiency, adding a new air conditioner almost feels like an afterthought. Unfortunately, those afterthoughts can come at quite the cost—especially if you’re trying to stay within a budget.
What’s worse, if you discovered that your AC system wasn’t just old and outdated, but also an imminent danger to your home and family? Such a scenario is not as far-fetched as you might think.
With that being said, this article will explain everything that you need to know about whether or not it’s time to get a new AC installation.
Check for Air Leaks
One of the first things that you’ll want to do when trying to determine if it’s time to start looking at new AC units is to check for any signs of air leaks.
Larger leaks may be easy to spot, but smaller leaks can be nearly impossible to detect without the proper tools.
In fact, as little as a 0.5% AC leak can result in a 2% loss of your home’s cooling capacity. For reference, a 1% air leak would see a 5% loss.
Here’s a quick list of things to look for:
- Cool air coming into your home from outside through wall cracks
- Warm air from outside comes inside through cracks in the floor
- Warm air from outside comes inside through cracks in the ceiling
- Warm air from inside is being pushed outside through cracks in the floor
- Warm air from inside is being pushed outside through cracks in the ceiling
Look for Signs of Mold or Mildew
Unfortunately, even if you find no signs of air leaks in and around your AC unit, that doesn’t mean that your unit is safe to keep running. In fact, mold and mildew growth is one of the first signs that your unit is failing.
Mold and mildew growth on the condensers, fan blades, and motor covers on air conditioners can be a sign that it’s not properly cooling your home. What’s worse, mold and mildew have the ability to seep into your home’s HVAC duct system and trigger allergic reactions, serious health issues, and even indoor flooding.
And as if that weren’t enough, mold and mildew can also leave behind a terrible odor in your home.
If Your AC Is No Longer Under Warranty
If your central air conditioning unit is no longer under warranty and you’re still struggling to find the funds to replace it, you may want to consider simply repairing it.
If you run into issues with your system and your HVAC technician is confident that the repair work will extend the life of your system, you can rest easy knowing that you didn’t waste thousands of dollars on a short-lived solution.
Check Your Evaporation Shower
If you’ve noticed that your AC is struggling to deliver the cooling power that your home needs, one of the first things that you’ll want to do is check your evaporator.
The evaporator is a crucial part of AC systems that actually pulls water from the air, condensing it into liquid form. When your evaporator is working properly, it will pull air from inside your home and direct it to your condenser—the part of your AC that actually creates the cooling power.
However, when your evaporator is clogged with mineral deposits, it doesn’t have the power it needs to pull water from the air.
You Can See and Smell Something’s Not Right
If you’re still in doubt, you can always give your system a thorough examination to make sure that everything is running as it should.
For starters, check your AC’s power supply. If your system is still running but the power supply is experiencing issues, you’ll likely see a red indicator light. If the power supply is giving you trouble and you’re willing to try a little DIY work, you can also check your fuses. If your fuses are blown, you’ll see a blown indicator light as well.
Beyond that, keep an eye on your AC unit’s pressure gauge. If your unit is experiencing pressure issues, you’ll probably see your pressure gauge slowly creep up.
Condensation Is Making Its Way Into Your Home
If your central air conditioner unit is still running but you’ve noticed condensation forming on your windows and AC unit, you’re likely dealing with a cooling issue.
Keep in mind, however, that this is a sign that your AC unit is working too hard—not that it’s failing.
Excess moisture can usually be resolved by increasing the HVAC systems’ airflow, but it’ll ultimately depend on the cause of the issue. If you’re noticing a drastic increase in condensation, there is a chance that your system is failing.
With that being said, if you’re in the market for a new AC unit, make sure that you take your current system’s condition into consideration before spending the money to purchase a new one.
The last thing you want to do is replace your old AC unit only to find yourself in need of a new one in a couple of years!
Remember, it’s never too late to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency. If your AC unit is old and outdated, but not yet dangerous to your home, it may be worth your while to wait until you can save up enough money to get a new unit. However, getting a new HVAC unit means you get to enjoy new, updated technologies such as the split system technology which is more efficient and economical.
If you’re in need of HVAC repair, maintenance, or installation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Paul’s Heating and Air by giving us a call at (770) 682-9003. We will connect you to one of our expert air conditioner installers to cater to your needs.