How Long Does A Central Air Conditioner Last?
A central air conditioning system lasts between 15 and 25 years if it’s well-maintained. However, they’re considered old after ten years. And, yours can break down after a decade (or sooner) if you don’t take care of it. We’ll explain how and more in this article.
Here in York, PA, and across central Pennsylvania, air conditioners are becoming all but essential. As summers get hotter, we rely more on the AC than fans and open windows. Fortunately, however, it’s not so bad that ACs get overworked.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about how to get the most out of your central air. We’ll go over a few pitfalls, signs that there’s a problem, and how to keep the cool air coming for as many summers as you can.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions about your air conditioner’s performance in York, PA or need someone for AC repair, call us today at Air Comfort Technologies.
R22 Freon And Older Air Conditioners
There’s one downside to keeping your air conditioner working for more than a decade; If you installed it before 2010, then even a small repair can mean you need to replace your system. ACs made before 2010 used R22 freon as their coolants. But, the EPA phased out its use over the next ten years.
Today’s units use R410A coolant. You don’t notice a difference in performance, but it’s better for the environment. At the same time, however, no one in the world makes R22 anymore. So, supplies are limited, and there’s less available each summer.
You can read more about it in the article we linked below. But, the bottom line is that even a simple leak in a very old system can mean you need to replace it.
Signs Your Central Air Is Breaking Down
You can avoid costly AC repairs or even a replacement if you spot a warning sign that your central air is breaking down. When you address it early on, you can nip it in the bud — and spend less money doing so.
Here are four quick signs there’s a problem with your air conditioning:
- Weak Air Circulation
- Excess Humidity
- Higher Energy Bills
Weak Air Circulation
The most apparent sign that something’s wrong with your cooling is that your house isn’t cool enough. But, sometimes, that’s not so easy to spot. If the system does a worse job little by little, you may not notice those small temperature increases.
But, what’s often apparent is when there’s just not enough air coming through your vents. Even if you’re not noticing a warmer house, you may pick up that the force of the air coming through the ductwork is weaker than usual.
Removing moisture from the air is a crucial part of the air conditioning process. Reducing humidity makes you feel cooler and more comfortable. So, every air conditioner handles this as well as lowering the temperature.
So, a sign that there’s a problem with your AC is if you’re feeling more “sticky” in the house. If the system’s not dehumidifying, it’s not working the way it should. Along with being uncomfortable, you may also notice wallpaper peeling or foggy windows if the problem’s bad.
Short-cycling is when your air conditioner (or heater) keeps turning on and off every few minutes. It’s the same process that the system should use. But, when it happens that often it means there’s a problem.
Conventional heaters and air conditioners run for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Then, it turns off until the temperature drifts too far from the thermostat setting. In all, it should click on and off three or four times an hour.
By contrast, short-cycle means an internal issue is tripping a fail-safe. Or that there’s a problem reading the temperature correctly. Either way, you want to get that checked out.
Higher Energy Bills
Was last summer just as hot as this one, but your electric bill is much higher? That’s a warning sign that your AC is getting old. It’s using more and more energy to keep up with the demand. If you notice those higher bills, along with any of the other problems we outlined, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
How To Keep Your Central Air System As Long As Possible
So, how can you get to that 25-year mark with your central air? Here are three important ways to keep that AC running as long as you can:
- Maintain The Area Around The Outdoor Unit
- Replace Your Air Filter Every Month
- Get A Yearly AC Tune-Up
Maintain The Area Around The Outdoor Unit
Clear lawn clippings, trash, and other debris from around your outdoor condenser. Cover it in the winter, so moisture doesn’t seem in and start rusting the inner components. You’ll also prevent critters from building a nest in there when they can’t get in.
Replace Your Air Filter Every Month
You’d be surprised at how many problems can be solved when you keep a clean air filter in your HVAC system at all times. Even short-cycling and weak circulation can occur when the filter is clogged and doesn’t allow air to pass through.
Of course, there are other possible causes for those problems. But, you may get lucky and only need to spend $10 and 15 minutes to fix the problem.
Get A Yearly AC Tune-Up
Having a professional look over your system before each summer adds years to the life of your air conditioner. And it will keep your electric bills lower over the years. With a tune-up or preventative maintenance, you’ll have a certified tech clean and optimize your system and replace anything broken or worn-out.
AC Repair And Maintenance In York, PA
Stay cool this summer by staying ahead of any cooling problems! You can call us here at Air Comfort technologies for AC repair or preventative maintenance for your home in York, PA, or anywhere in Central Pennsylvania.