How to Know If You Need a New High-Efficiency Air Conditioner


On a hot summer day, the last thing you want is to be stuck with a broken-down air conditioning system. With regular maintenance, a high-efficiency AC system can last 10-15 years—but how do you know when it’s time to start looking for a new one? Here are five ways to know if it’s time for an upgrade, before you’re left out in the cold—or in this case, the heat.

  1. It’s more than 10 years old.

If it’s been a decade since your AC was installed, it might be worth preparing to purchase a new system, even before you start to see major warning signs (more on these later). It’s worth running the numbers about how much your annual tune-ups are costing you (not to mention your energy bill). It might be the case that investing in a newer, high-efficiency air conditioner model could start saving you money sooner. If your budget is holding you back, ask your contractor if they offer a low monthly payment option.

  1. It makes unusual noises.

No system is perfectly silent, but if you’re starting to hear groaning, clanking, or other sounds of effort from your AC, it’s not doing its best job. Loud sounds could mean a broken part or malfunction inside the unit, like a loose belt or unbalanced part. They could also indicate a more systemic issue, like insufficient ducting inside the space you’re trying to cool, causing your AC to chug and work too hard to generate enough cool air to regulate the temperature. Either way, an upgrade to a newer system that takes into consideration the needs of your whole house could be a wise investment.

  1. You see signs of leaking, moisture, or extra dust inside your home.

Leaks and cracks within the AC system can cause structural damage to your home when moisture gets into drywall or wood. If your air conditioning ducts show signs of mildew around the edges, or you notice paint bubbling out, it’s worth considering an upgrade. You might also notice more dust inside your home, which may indicate a leaky system that is struggling to circulate air efficiently and filter out the particles that are now settling everywhere you look.

  1. Your cooling costs are skyrocketing.

One of the big ways to tell that your AC needs replacement is that it’s costing you more to run it. You might find yourself shelling out for repairs more often with less grace periods between visits. You may also be seeing a higher-than-normal utility bill—when your air conditioner needs to work harder to cool the same area, it draws more power and uses energy less efficiently. A modern, energy-efficient air conditioner will save you time, trouble, and money for years to come.

  1. You have hot spots in your home.

It might seem obvious, but if parts of your home aren’t cooled properly, then your AC isn’t doing its job. This could mean that there’s clogging in your ducts, or other issues with airflow. If the issue is isolated to one or two areas, it may be fixable, but if repair costs are starting to pile up, it’s worth looking into replacing the whole system.

Think your air conditioner might be due for a replacement? can help you upgrade to a modern, energy-efficient cooling unit within your budget. Use our free renovation calculator to find out how much the unit might cost, and we’ll connect you with recommended HVAC contractors in your area. Get your free no-obligation estimate today!

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