How Long Should an AC Unit Last?

Buying an air conditioner is a big investment. Of course, if you live or work in the Greensboro area, it’s an important investment, as the hot afternoons and nights that are common in this area are far more comfortable when an air conditioner is running. But how long can an AC unit be expected to last? That’s the question that is going to be tackled below.


Sometimes, it’s not necessary to replace your air conditioner, as an AC tune up might be all you need to get things back on track. In other cases, AC installation will be needed, as the old unit just won’t be up to the job any longer. Either way, Berico is the right partner for the job, so take a moment today to get in touch and learn more about the services that are available.


Ten Years is a Good Starting Point

There is no one set amount of time that you can expect an AC unit to last, but looking at 10 years is a good general starting point. If you have an AC unit that is less than 10 years old, you should have a decent chance that it will be able to serve you for a while longer. It’s likely it will need a repair here and there – and all AC units require ongoing maintenance – but there should be some life left in the system.


Does this mean that you should automatically schedule an air conditioner replacement if your unit is more than 10 years old? Not at all – there is a good chance that you’ll get some more years of service out of it, just be aware that the need for repairs and maintenance will likely start to increase. A modern air conditioning unit will commonly last all the way to the 20-year mark or beyond, but that outcome is not guaranteed. The older your system is, the more attention you should pay to it day after day, and the more you’ll want to be prepared for a replacement when the time comes.  Also, after 10 years, most manufacturers’ parts warranty expire, thus increasing the cost of repairs.


As you monitor the age of your air conditioning unit, one good point to pay attention to is the amount of energy you are consuming month after month. You will likely notice if your energy consumption is going up because your bill will do the same thing. If you find yourself paying more and more for energy and the underlying rates haven’t gone up significantly, it’s likely that a loss of efficiency within the system is to blame.


With each passing year, don’t be surprised if the efficiency of your air conditioner trails off and your bills rise. This is something to keep in mind with regard to replacing the air conditioner. Some of the cost of buying a new unit will be offset by bringing your energy bills back down to a more reasonable range. That doesn’t mean you have to upgrade to a new system immediately when the bill starts to rise, but keep an eye on it so the costs don’t go too high before you make a switch. Modern air conditioning units are incredibly efficient, so you will get better performance than ever before once you upgrade and have a new one installed. Berico is glad to send a comfort specialist to help weigh your options and has specific tools that can help you in your decision making process.



Do You Keep Calling for Repairs?

The other measuring stick you can use to keep track of how your system is doing is the frequency with which you need to call for repairs. With a new system, you’ll likely not have to call for any repair work at all – just some annual maintenance will be enough to get great results. Then, as the years go by, other problems will naturally start to pop up one at a time. If those repairs start to come around more often, and they are getting more expensive to manage, swapping out the old unit for a new one may be required.


You can have a conversation with your HVAC contractor about this important point. They can help you understand what has been going wrong with your current unit, how likely it is that new problems will keep popping up, and whether or not they recommend a replacement. An honest contractor like Berico won’t pressure you into a purchase but rather will help you understand the situation so you can make your own informed choice.


Understanding the Refrigerant Change

Unless you work in the HVAC industry, you probably aren’t aware that there has been a major change going on with regard to the refrigerant used in air conditioning systems. For years, the refrigerant of choice was R-22, commonly referred to as Freon. Due to environmental concerns, R-22 has been on its way out for a while now, and new air conditioning systems now run on R410A.


This is important to understand because if you have an old system that uses Freon, topping off such a system is getting harder and harder to do. The availability of Freon is limited and the cost of what is available has climbed significantly. If your current system uses Freon, that will be another factor that influences the math you have to do regarding whether or not to replace it with a new unit. Knowing that it’s only going to get tougher to replace the refrigerant moving forward, you might decide to get ahead of the game by upgrading to a modern unit that runs more efficiently and will be easy to maintain for years to come.


Getting the help of a professional HVAC contractor like Berico is critical if you are going to make a sound decision regarding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner. The experts at Berico have completed AC repair and installation for thousands of local homeowners and business owners and will be happy to come to your location to take care of the HVAC issues you are facing. Berico is your always dependable option when it comes to HVAC.