When Should You Replace Your AC Unit?
Just Fix It is here to assist homeowners with the decision to replace AC unit parts & more. We offer our services in Katy, Spring, Harris County, and Houston. In this comprehensive guide to air conditioning replacement, our qualified professionals will help you understand the importance of your AC unit’s lifespan, maintenance, and how to troubleshoot common problems.
Understanding AC Unit Lifespan
The need for heating and cooling in your home is a year-round concern. The total repair cost of a central air conditioner depends on several factors. If you find yourself repeatedly spending on repairs, it might be time to do more than replace AC unit parts, and replace the full unit. Replacing your air conditioner can be a smart investment, especially considering potential tax credits and the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating.
How Long Do AC Units Last?
Manufacturers estimate that the average lifespan of an AC unit falls between 15 to 20 years, but this largely depends on maintenance. Before deciding to replace AC unit components, assess whether your Katy AC unit has reached the end of its lifespan. Key signs to look for include:
If your AC unit keeps breaking down, it may be time to replace AC unit.
Aging units tend to cool rooms unevenly or inefficiently, signaling the need for a replacement.
Each AC unit model has a specified estimated lifespan provided by the manufacturer.
When to Replace AC Unit & Parts
Consider the average lifespan of three different types of AC units:
Properly maintained central air conditioner replacement units can last between 15 and 20 years.
This air conditioning unit typically lasts 10 to 15 years before requiring you to repair or replace AC unit.
Opting for a ductless AC system can lower repair costs. These units can serve you well for 20 to 30 years before you need to replace AC unit.
Factors that affect an AC unit’s lifespan include:
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for extending the life of any AC unit in Katy.
- Usage: The total energy cost depends on the model’s high efficiency and higher SEER ratings. However, after replacing the air conditioner, it will be more cost-effective to heat and cool your home.
- Quality of Installation: The Department of Energy sets installation quality standards, the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and other metrics.
Maintaining Your AC Unit
Regular cleaning of interior and exterior components can extend the lifespan of your AC system. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions in the AC unit’s manual.
How to Keep a Clean AC Unit
Clean systems maintain efficient air circulation. Follow this detailed guide for cleaning your AC unit’s interior and exterior components.
Cleaning and Replacing AC Unit Parts
Interior component cleaning guide:
- Turn off the power: Shut off the power supply to the AC unit before cleaning.
- Clean the filters: Remove the air filters clean or replace them according to the unit’s maintenance schedule. Typically, air filters are near the front of the unit.
- Clean the evaporator and condenser coils: Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to locate these components. Use a soft brush or fin comb to clean the evaporator and condenser coils, removing dust or debris.
Exterior component cleaning guide:
- Turn off the power: Always shut off the unit’s power supply first.
- Clear debris from the exterior: Remove any debris, leaves, or branches from the condenser’s exterior.
- Clean the fins: Use a hose or fin cleaning brush to clean the condenser fins carefully, removing dirt and grime without bending them.
- Trim vegetation: Maintain a clearance of at least two feet around the condenser unit by trimming back vegetation. Unobstructed airflow helps maintain your AC unit’s performance and efficiency.
Selecting the Right AC Unit Size
Choosing the correct AC unit size is essential for optimal efficiency and indoor comfort while reducing operational costs and conserving energy.
What Size AC Unit Do I Need?
- Undersized AC units work harder and are more expensive to operate.
- Oversized AC units frequently cycle on and off, wasting energy and reducing efficiency.
- Size formula: Total area/square foot x 20 BTUs/square foot = Required BTUs.
- While this formula provides a general guide for most residential spaces, consult a qualified HVAC technician for commercial spaces or to account for variables like insulation, climate, and window placement.
Troubleshooting Common AC Unit Issues – Replace AC Unit
Identifying and addressing the issue is crucial if your AC unit freezes up or encounters persistent problems. Professional service by a qualified HVAC technician is essential.
When to Replace AC Unit – Troubleshooting Guide
What To Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up?
- Check for restricted airflow: Address this issue by changing dirty filters, ensuring vents and registers are not blocked, and clearing any outdoor unit debris.
- Check refrigerant levels: Low levels may indicate a refrigerant leak, which requires professional attention. HVAC service providers will check for leaks, recharge the system, and restore Freon levels.
- Mechanical issues: Regularly scheduled maintenance can prevent problems like malfunctioning fans or thermostats from freezing your AC unit.
Cleaning the External AC Unit
Cleaning the coils improves your AC unit’s efficiency and lifespan, preventing corrosion and compressor strain. Clean coils also help maintain healthy indoor air quality by preventing mold and bacteria growth.
How to Clean Outside AC Unit?
Always begin by shutting off the power before cleaning the exterior AC unit. Remove debris, clean the fins, and clear any vegetation obstructing airflow. Repeat this exterior cleaning regularly.
Cleaning the Internal Components
Cleaning the evaporator coils, filters, and condensation lines enhances your unit’s efficiency, prevents mold and bacteria growth, and avoids costly repairs, frozen coils, and clogged air ducts.
How to Clean Inside the AC Unit?
To safely clean and maintain internal components, follow these steps:
- Power off the AC unit: Always turn off the power before cleaning.
- Clean the filters and coils: Regularly replace filters, and use a soft brush or compressed air line to clean the condenser coils and evaporator.
- Inspect components: Check for loose connections, damaged wiring, and refrigerant leaks. Consult a professional for help lubricating the motor or bearings if needed.
AC Unit Problems to Check Before Air Conditioner Replacement
Low refrigerant levels may indicate a refrigerant leak, which should not be a DIY task. Contact a professional to minimize environmental concerns and potential hazards.
Replace AC Unit Freon
A professional HVAC service provider can add Freon to your AC unit to ensure proper levels. This involves inspecting valves, monitoring pressure gauges, checking for leaks, opening valves, and adding the correct amount of Freon. The HVAC professional will then test the system.
Replace AC Unit Fan
If your AC unit’s fan doesn’t spin, it could indicate a defective capacitor or faulty motor. Problems with the motor or capacitor can cause the blades to fail to turn.
Call Just Fix It When it’s Time to Replace Your AC Unit
Regular cleaning and proactive maintenance will extend the life of your Katy AC unit. Proper sizing will reduce energy costs, and troubleshooting common AC issues can save you money on air conditioner replacement while ensuring a comfortable indoor environment.
Just Fix It provides quality, timely, and cost-effective HVAC services near Katy, TX, and the Houston Metro. Trust us to recommend the best cooling and heating solution for you. Our specialties include AC repair, AC installation, AC maintenance, Furnace replacement, Heating tune-up, Heating repair, and Mini-split installation.
We are the HVAC contractor Katy trusts for heating and cooling solutions. Call us today!