Spring is on its way, and that means that summer is not far away in St. Paul, MN. While you may not be thinking about your AC system yet, now is the time to start planning your seasonal air conditioning service and considering whether or not it is time for an upgrade. Once summer hits it will feel like it is never-ending, and that is not a good time to have an emergency with your AC system. It is also the hardest time of year to book an air conditioning service because everyone needs emergency services.
Evaluating your AC system now before the true heat of summer hits is the best way to get prompt air conditioning service and time to evaluate your options. If your system breaks down during the heat of the summer you will likely pay whatever is necessary to get it back up and running again. If you determine now that you may need to upgrade your system following your service call, you have some time to decide the best way to proceed.
The truth is that no HVAC system is designed to last forever. Even in seasonal locations like St. Paul, MN AC systems experience wear and tear. Over time even regular air conditioning services will not be enough to save your system. If you are trying to figure out if this is the year you upgrade your system it may help to read through some of the most common indicators. Here are a few ways to tell whether or not the time to upgrade your AC system is now.
The Actual Age of Your AC
Regular air conditioning service is a great way to prolong the life of your air conditioning system, but at a certain point, even regular servicing is not enough to keep it alive. Most AC systems last for about 10 to 15 years. If you are pushing 15 years that you are getting close to the end of its lifespan. It’s actually quite commendable that the system has made it that long, and probably a token of its quality air conditioning service calls. However, at this point, the system is probably not as efficient and it is probably going to break down either this summer or next.
Once again, the problem with the wait and see approach is that you may get stranded in the middle of the summer with no AC and a waiting list before a technician can help you. Plus, even if it can be repaired it is likely that it will break down again. If you have to constantly have repairs done on your system you will start losing more money than its worth. Just like an old car can be a money pit, so can an old AC system that should be replaced. Keep in mind that an older AC system is also probably not as energy efficient which means you are likely paying more in utilities then you should be.
High Utility Bills
Speaking of paying too much, if your utility bills keep rising every summer this is a good sign that your AC is no longer running as efficiently as it should be. Some people react to high utility bills by keeping the temperature turned up higher, but if you are baking in your home then you are no longer saving money, you are probably suffering to save an old system. An older system that is not efficient has to cycle constantly which means that it ends up eating up high amounts of energy to cool your home.
While it is true that energy costs are rising, you shouldn’t have to turn your AC up a few degrees every year just to keep up. This is a sign that you need to book an air conditioning service to check in on your AC. With any luck, there is just a small problem, but if the problem is larger it is better to know now than later.
Your AC Isn’t Producing Cold Air
The actual function of an AC system is not complicated. The AC system is designed to produce cold air that is then blown throughout a home. If you turn on your AC system and it is no longer blowing cold air, or the cold air is much warmer than it used to be it is time to call for an air conditioning service. If you have the AC on and you really don’t feel anything cooling down it may be time to play with the thermostat some. Try turning up the thermostat and then turn it down to see if anything changes with the air that is coming out of your registers. If nothing changes there is a good chance that you need a service. It also is a sign that your AC system may be shot.
If your system isn’t too old and you notice this problem you may want to check your thermostat first. Sometimes a thermostat can go bad or may require a battery change depending on the model. In this case, fixing your thermostat may solve the problem. This is the best-case scenario since it is much cheaper than installing a new AC system. If you feel this could be the problem, make sure to bring it up during your air conditioning servicing.
Repairs Will Cost You Over Half of the Price of a New AC Unit
Most of the time people go for repairs following an air conditioning service because it is cheaper, but if the cost to repair your unit is more than half what it would cost you to buy a new system then you should heavily consider a replacement. At this point, you will be investing heavily into a system that probably will have new problems within the year. If you have an older model this is even more true.
It can be hard to decide whether or not it is time to install a new AC unit at your home, which is why you should schedule a service and consult a professional. Blue Ox Heating & Air in Minneapolis, MN has been helping clients with their HVAC systems for years. We would be happy to appraise your system and offer you an objective opinion and some options so you can decide if this is the year to upgrade or not.