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Even the most well-built air conditioner will eventually give out. With so many moving parts and important components needing to work properly and in unison in order for your system to work, there will eventually come a time where repairs will no longer be economically viable and instead you’ll more than likely be looking to replace your system completely. But how do you know that your system needs replaced? After all, replacement is a huge investment, and so you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of your system before you are forced to make it again.

For the average homeowner, knowing whether a repair or a replacement is the better decision isn’t something that’s easy to determine. The only way to know for sure is to have an experienced Richmond air conditioning technician give you their honest assessment of your system and which option is best for you. However, there are a few signs that you can look for which may indicate that the time has come to replace your system outright. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few of these signs so you can better understand when your air conditioner may need to be replaced.

Frequent Breakdowns

The first sign that your air conditioner is starting to become a victim of passing time is frequent breakdowns that put it out of service. Sure any appliance in your home can break down, but one that breaks down frequently is in need of replacement. After all, these breakdowns and repair services can add up, and over time you may realize that the cost of a new system may be significantly less than you’re spending to keep your old system running. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: if you’re paying for more than one major repair service (a repair that costs in excess of $1,000) over a one-year span, then it’s a good time to start considering a full replacement.

System Age

Frequent breakdowns are often a consequence of your system’s age, and while your system may seem to be running smoothly now, the chances of a major problem with your system rearing its head only increase as it gets older and older. In fact, a modern air conditioner is generally only going to last you around 10 to 15 years before needing replaced. While many people can extend their lifespan to as much as 20 years with proper care and maintenance, those who have a system that’s approaching the expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years should probably anticipate that they’re going to need to replace their system in the not-too-distant future.

High Energy Bills

High energy bills are an indicator that your system is starting to show signs of age. As different components are used, the wear and tear creates friction, resistance, and other forces that cause your system to require more energy to run. When your system needs more energy to run, it takes longer cycles, and when it takes longer cycles, your utility bills climb and climb without any signs of stopping. If you notice that running your air conditioner seems particularly expensive this summer, your air conditioner’s age could be the biggest contributing factor.

Strange Noises & Smells

When your air conditioner starts making odd noises or emitting strange smells, then these are a sign that small problems could be wreaking havoc on your system and causing it to wear down or rapidly deteriorate. Strange noises can come from a number of sources, including vibration from loose parts, damaged parts like fan belts or fans themselves, added friction in moving parts like motors, or even a part that’s come disconnected rattling around in your system.

Smells are another story. While the smell of condensation is fairly normal and not usually something to have to worry about, burning smells are either the result of loads of friction causing excessive heat to build up in a part, or an electrical fault starting to burn off the insulation on the wires that make your system work. In either case, these are problems that need fixed as soon as possible.

Warm Air

Warm air is a sign that a catastrophic problem has happened somewhere in your system that’s preventing it from creating cold air. In many cases this is the result of a major component breaking down or failing completely, and usually needing to be replaced. If your system seems to be running as it normally would, but isn’t producing any cold air, there’s a good chance you need a major repair, and replacement shouldn’t be out of the question.

Do you need a new air conditioner? Our Richmond air conditioning experts at Blazer Heating & Air Conditioning can provide you with a high-quality replacement and outstanding installation services. Give us a call today at (804) 277-2458 to schedule your appointment.