Air Conditioner On Its Last Legs? 4 Signs That It Might Be Time for a Replacement

Posted on: 22 August 2016

If your home air-conditioning system is the original equipment, it might be time to think about having it replaced. Most air conditioners will last about 16 years with proper maintenance. However, after that, you might start experiencing an increase in breakdowns and malfunctions. If your air conditioner is experiencing any of the symptoms described below, you should talk to your contractor about having a new cooling system installed for your home.

Loss of Air

When your air conditioner is running, you should be able to feel a consistent flow of cool air through the vents. If you're noticing a significant decrease in the air flow through all of the vents in your home, it could be a sign that the compressor is failing on your system. Warm air blowing through the vents when the air conditioner is on is another sign that your compressor is on its last legs.

Moisture or Ice Buildup

Take a look around your air conditioner. If you see puddles of moisture around the base of the unit, or there is an icy buildup on the output hoses to your unit, your air conditioner might be leaking refrigerant. Unfortunately, a refrigerant leak can be hazardous. If you do see ice or puddles, you should have your air conditioner inspected.

Strange Noises

When your air conditioner is working properly, you shouldn't hear any loud or strange noises coming from the unit. If you've started hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is on—such as whining, grating or grinding—you should have your system inspected as soon as possible. These sounds could signify that your belts no longer fit properly or that your system is failing.

Unusual Odors

Your air conditioner should never emit odors. If it is doing so, you need to identify the type of odor that's coming from the unit. If the odor smells like burning rubber or wires, the insulation around the wiring could be melting, and that could lead to an electrical fire. If the odor smells musty or moldy, you could have mold growing in the unit, which could mean that you have a condensation leak inside the system.

If your air conditioner is more than 16 years old, it might be time to install a new system, especially if you're experiencing any of the problems described above. For information about the best replacement options for your home or more about this topic, be sure to contact an air conditioning contractor near you. 

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