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Group of new AC units outside a residential home.

6 Signs You Need a New AC Unit

Ahh, summer, one of the most beautiful times to be in Dallas. Perhaps you're excited to spend weekends barbecuing in the backyard with friends and family. Maybe you want to wander through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden or get out on an adventure—perhaps rock climbing at Lake Mineral Wells is up your alley. Maybe you’re just planning to stay home. In any case, none of those activities will bring you much joy if you’re focused on whether or not your home needs a new AC unit.

Whatever the case may be, what's likely is that after enjoying the hot summer months you'll want to relax at home in the blissfully air-conditioned space. However, if your current air conditioning is not working properly, makes alarming noises when you turn it on, or smells foul, you'll hardly find it relaxing to hang out inside. Not to mention, if your air conditioner hardly emits any hot air, it's hardly worth having at all! Those are all signs you should think about getting a new AC unit.

There are many signs that it's time to swap out your current machine for a newer model. While you may be hesitant regarding installation cost, are not sure what model is best for your home or aren't sure if a portable unit is better than central air conditioning, then you've come to the right place. The team at Aire Serv of Dallas has years of experience installing, repairing and maintaining a range of new AC units. Not only can we provide expert advice about which variety may be best suited for your unique needs, but we also work with most major brands.

Not to mention, our customer service is absolutely unparalleled. We always put the needs of our clients first, and aim to give you a positive experience with our company from start to finish. Whether you're phoning our friendly office staff to book a convenient appointment or our expert technicians are thanking you for your business before we leave your home, your happiness is our top priority.

Investing in an air conditioner installation service can be a big commitment, so it helps to be certain it's the right time to replace your current model. If you're debating whether to get a new air conditioning unit or not, you may want to read the rest of this blog.

1. Your HVAC System is Old

Most HVAC units last between 15 and 20 years, depending on the level of maintenance they received during their lifespan. If your machine is getting on in years or is even older, it may be a good idea to replace it. Often, warranties no longer cover models older than the typical lifespan. This means that between parts and labor costs, any repairs your aging system needs could cost as much as installing a brand-new machine.

Since the “health” of new AC units varies depending on the level of care they receive, a good rule of thumb to follow is that if yours is more than 12-years-old and has required frequent repairs in the last two years, it's time for replacement AC installation service.

What is Air Conditioner Maintenance?

If you read “...depending on the level of maintenance they received...” and went, “what maintenance!?” there's a good chance your new AC unit might not last quite as long as the typical 15 to 20 year range. Whether you decide to install a new model and want to take proper care of it from day one, or you're hoping it's not too late to hop on the maintenance train, check out the following tips.

New AC Unit Upkeep Should Include:

  • Changing out the air filter

  • Cleaning the unit's coils

  • Removing any debris from the unit

  • Vacuuming the fins

  • Realigning bent fins

  • Unclogging the condensate drain tube

One of our qualified technicians will be able to perform the above maintenance, and more, during a conveniently scheduled appointment.

2. Your Energy Bills Are Increasing

Do your energy costs seem higher than usual? Older machines have to work harder to try to cool your home, and often this reflects in your monthly utility bills. You might be thinking, “But my home isn't even cooling properly.” This is because the machine isn't able to cool efficiently. Subsequently, your existing AC unit can't get the interior temperature to match what you've set on the thermostat, so it keeps “cooling” even if nothing is happening. This can result in significant costs on your energy bills. Should this be the case, it's worth upgrading to a new AC unit, so you can reduce your bills for years to come. Also, many new AC units are more energy efficient, benefiting both your wallet and your utility bill.

Understanding an Efficiency Rating

Energy efficiency ratings are measured in acronyms that can make it hard to understand what is actually a good rating. When you're looking for a new AC unit, it helps to be familiar with the meaning behind those acronyms.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER measures the energy efficiency of cooling equipment. It's calculated based on a seasonal average as opposed to specific laboratory (or controlled) conditions. This measurement is the ratio of cooling output in British Thermal Units, or BTU divided by the electricity usage in kilowatt-hours. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the machine is.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, new air conditioning systems in Southern states like Texas are required to have a minimum rating of 14. Today, efficient models can range between a rating of 20 to 28. Meanwhile, older models are usually rated between 5 and 10.

To put it into perspective, upgrading from a machine with an SEER rating of 10 to a SEER rating of 13 means your power consumption is reduced by 30%.

3. Liquid is Pooling Around the Unit

All AC equipment creates moisture to some extent, as this is a normal byproduct of the chemical reaction that creates cool air, but you shouldn't see pooling water anywhere near the unit. Properly functioning systems should be able to handle moisture without issue, so if you see liquid near the machine it could be that the refrigerant is leaking. This means the machine won't be able to work properly, which means you might need a new AC unit.

4. Your AC Unit is Loud

Does it seem like your system is much louder than it used to be? If your AC unit is keeping you up at night because it's making noisy sounds like squeaking, grinding or rattling, it means you need a new system. While most AC units make a small amount of noise, you shouldn't really notice it. Strange noises are a sign the machine is too old to work correctly.

5. Your AC Unit Smells Bad

It almost goes without saying, but you shouldn't be able to smell your AC system. The air you breathe should be clean and neutral smelling. However, if you turn the AC on and it smells smoky or like burning plastic, this indicates a very serious problem. You need to call a qualified AC repairman right away.

6. Lack of or Limited Air Flow

A major factor indicating you need a new AC unit is if it's no longer cooling air effectively. While sometimes this could be because your system needs a refrigerant top-up, if it consistently emits warm air it's worthwhile to invest in a new machine. Perhaps you could upgrade to an energy efficient model, so you can enjoy the cool air guilt-free.

Thinking About Getting a New AC Unit?

Do you need a new AC unit? An AC professional at Aire Serv of Dallas will be able to help you install a new model at a conveniently scheduled appointment time. Whether you smell bad odors coming from your current machine or it's more than 15 years old, we'll help you pick a model that's ideal for your home. Our experienced team has helped homeowners with their HVAC needs throughout Dallas, including inSunnyvale, Mesquite and Rowlett.

Keep your living space cool with the help of our pro team. To book an appointment today, we invite you to give us a call at 972-992-5648.