On average, you can expect newer AC units to last about 15 years on average. However, the actual lifespan of your AC unit is impacted by the make and model, how often you run it, and how well you keep up with regular maintenance.

At Minnick’s, we’re proud to provide air condition service and repair to Central MD property owners. We also know when to throw in the towel on maintenance and opt for AC replacement.

When you schedule services with us, we’ll always give you our honest opinion about the state of your AC unit. In fact, we’re happy to offer this easy-to-follow guide that will help you perform a DIY assessment of your AC unit.

Read on to learn more about whether your AC unit would benefit from repairs or if it’s time for a replacement.

How Old Is Your AC Unit?

As we mentioned earlier, newer AC units tend to last for about an average of 15 years. As you get closer to that 15-year mark, you may want to weigh your options a little more carefully.

Let’s say you have an AC unit that you purchased and installed 10 years ago. Now, it’s starting to break down or perform poorly and you’re not sure why. Chances are, it will be a better investment to purchase a new AC unit that is more advanced than to pay for the repairs on an old model–especially if some of those old replacement parts are hard to find.

Are You Getting the Energy Efficiency You Want From Your AC Unit?

The technology used to manufacture AC units gets more and more advanced with each passing year. A recent survey found that some of the newer AC unit models are up to 40% more energy-efficient than the models built 10 years ago.

Energy efficiency isn’t just better for the planet. It’s also better for your wallet. Most electric bills go up about 10% in the summer when AC units are working almost 24/7 to keep our homes cool. If your AC unit can use 40% less electricity to produce the same results, you’re going to net some serious savings. 

Is Your AC Unit Affecting Your Indoor Air Quality?

One of the jobs your AC unit is responsible for is filtering the air that circulates through your home. You want all of those pollutants, allergens, and other pesky particles filtered out. When your AC unit stops performing this job (or performing it well), you’re at risk of having poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

The good news is that a lot of times, something as simple as an air duct cleaning service will tackle this issue. Dust, dander, and even mold may have built up in your ducts. Removing those irritants will help your AC pump cleaner air into your home.

Only in severe cases will you need to replace an AC unit due to dust and other debris. As long as you have your AC ducts cleaned about once a year and replace your air filter every month or two, the build-up should be manageable. 

Do You Need Replacement Parts?

When you turn your AC unit on, are you hearing strange sounds? We’re talking clunking and clanging, hissing and ringing, and even rattling. If something doesn’t sound right, you’ll want an AC technician to have a look at the culprit.

Oftentimes, strange sounds indicate that at least one part is broken, loose, or otherwise damaged. Replacing one or two parts shouldn’t take a huge hit on your bank account. It probably makes more sense to move forward with repairs in this scenario.

However, if you’re looking at several replacement parts, it’s time to weigh your options. How much will those repairs cost? How much will a new AC unit cost?

If the replacement costs roughly the same amount (or less) as repairs, it’s time for a replacement.

How Often Do You Need AC Repairs?

A good rule of thumb is that you should have your AC unit inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once a year. We generally recommend that you have this taken care of before the summer season hits. That way, you know that your AC is in good, working condition before you need it.

Appliances do break and malfunction, so the occasional repair isn’t a red flag. If you’re calling a repairman once a week (or even once a month), that’s a red flag. 

If you’re paying a ton for AC unit repair, it’s time to consider AC unit replacement. You deserve an AC unit that is reliable and high-quality, not one that breaks down all the time. 

What Is the Current State of Your AC Unit?

When was the last time you had your AC unit or HVAC system looked at? Do you get that annual inspection? Are there some little issues here and there that you’ve let slide for a few summers now?

Repairing an AC unit that has minor or recent damage is doable. Repairing an AC unit that has needed work for years is like trying to bring something back from the dead. If you’ve skipped regular maintenance for more than one summer in a row, it’s probably best to start all over with a new AC unit. 

Did Your AC Unit Pass the Repair Test or Is it Time For a Replacement?

Your AC unit will certainly need some work from time to time. Whether it needs a replacement part or some air duct cleaning, routine maintenance is no big deal. However, there are some signs that AC unit replacement is the better option, and we hope our guide has helped you decide.

Are you in the market for AC unit services in Laurel, MD? If so, Minnick’s is here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.