Central air conditioner replacement is not a topic that many homeowners think about until their air conditioner breaks down. If you are aware of a few early indicators that a breakdown may be possible in the near future, you can have your air conditioner replaced without dealing with a few days or weeks of uncomfortable temperature in your home. Here are three signs that it may be time to replace your air conditioner.
Excessive Noise While Running the AC
Severe mechanical failure is rarely a quiet event. As the major components in your air conditioner begin to fail, they are likely to begin making loud noises while the air conditioner is running. In many cases, finding and replacing the specific parts in your air conditioner that are failing would be more expensive than simply replacing the air conditioner. This is especially true if your air conditioner is an old model that is no longer being manufactured.
Serious failures are often noisy, but there are a few minor problems that can make their fair share of noise as well. Knowing how to distinguish the two can help you determine when it is time to call a technician for a professional diagnosis. A failing motor will usually make a loud, low grating or grinding noise. On the other hand, a rattling noise may simply be caused by a loose housing panel that could be fixed by tightening a few screws. Failing belts are inexpensive to replace, and are often characterized by a high-pitched squealing sound.
Energy Bill Creeping Upward
A healthy central air conditioner should cost use roughly the same amount of energy each month if there are no major changes in your family's usage habits. As your air conditioner ages, it will lose efficiency due to problems such as internal component wear. If you notice a gradual increase in your monthly energy bill, there is a chance that your air conditioner is nearing the end of its life.
It is important to remember that the air conditioner is not the only part of your HVAC system that could be causing the increase in your bill. A duct leak could be responsible for significant loss in efficiency, as you are still paying for all of the conditioned air that escapes through the leak without cooling your home. It is a good idea to have your ducts inspected before attributing unexplained bill increases to your air conditioner.
Temperature Variation Throughout Your Home
Your central air conditioner is designed to deliver the same amount of air to every room in your home. If there is temperature inconsistency in your home, a faulty central air conditioner could be to blame. As components fail, an airflow imbalance could develop that makes some rooms noticeably colder than others when your air conditioner is running.
In some cases, an HVAC technician may be able to correct the airflow balance without replacing your air conditioner. Many central air conditioning systems have airflow dampers near the main supply tank. By adjusting the dampers, the technician may be able to reduce temperature variations throughout your home. While this will not correct any underlying problems with the air conditioner that led to the imbalance in the first place, it may provide a few more months or years of usage without the expense of immediate replacing the air conditioner.
Most people will have to deal with a faulty air conditioner at least once in the time that they own their home. Keep these warning signs of central air conditioner failure in mind so you can contact a professional before your air conditioner breaks down. Try visiting a site like http://www.capefearair.com to get in touch with an HVAC contractor.