The 7 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Air Conditioning Unit

toolsIt can be difficult to know when it’s time to replace your air conditioner, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Keep reading to discover the telltale signs that your air conditioner is due for a replacement.

What to Watch Out for

Near or exceeded lifespan

The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is 10 to 15 years. If your unit is 10 years or older, your best option may be to replace it rather than spending money to repair a machine you will have to replace in just a few years.

Recurring dust

If you can’t seem to keep the dust off of surfaces in your home, even after dusting, you likely have a leak in your ductwork. Leaks in ductwork will decrease the efficiency of your air conditioning system and increase your utility bill. Over time, leaky ductwork and high utility bills will far outweigh the cost of a new, efficient air conditioner.

Excessive noise

If your air conditioner is noisy or making more noise than it used to, there’s a good chance that your duct system is too small for the size of your home. An issue with your air conditioner’s indoor coil could also cause the unit to make more noise than necessary. In either case, your best bet is to consider purchasing a new unit that is the correct size for your home, has a working indoor coil, and won’t disturb you with unnecessary noise.


Air conditioning units often become less and less efficient over time. Heating and cooling costs account for roughly 44 percent of your total utility bill. So, if your utility bill is higher than it was this time last year, and you aren’t using your machine more than usual, it may be time for a replacement.

Cooling and humidity issues

Your air conditioning unit is supposed to remove humidity from your home to make the environment more comfortable. It’s also supposed to create a cool, consistent temperature throughout your house. If you’re experiencing humidity or difficulty cooling certain parts of your home, it means your unit is malfunctioning or there are issues with your ductwork. Replacing an unreliable air conditioner and leaky ductwork, with a new, efficient unit will show significant cost savings down the road.

Frequent maintenance

Is your air conditioner constantly breaking down? Are you sinking money into a machine that only works for a few months, weeks, or days at a time? Frequent breakdowns are a telltale sign that a unit needs to be replaced.

If you’re unsure whether you should repair or replace your unit, follow the 5,000 rule. Multiply the cost of the repair by the age of the unit. For example, if the repair is $500 and the unit is 10 years old, that comes out to 5,000. If the result is 5,000 or more, replace the unit. If the result is less than 5,000, do the repair.

R-22 Freon

R-22 Freon is being phased out by the federal government and replaced by R410A, a more eco-friendly alternative. As a result, demand for Freon is going down and prices are going up. If your air conditioner uses Freon, it will need to be replaced with a unit that uses R410A eventually. If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, especially if the repairs require purchasing more Freon, replacing the unit may be the most cost-effective option.

Investing in a new unit

If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, strongly consider installing a new air conditioner. While a new air conditioner is a sizable investment, it is often a sound one. A new, efficient unit will eliminate the costs of constant repairs and inflated utility bills. Additionally, having a new unit in the house will increase the value of your home.

Looking to install a new air conditioner for reliable, cost-efficient comfort?

Learn more about Air Design’s expert air conditioning services.