We enjoy warm weather most of the year here in Panama City. It’s why we’re such a popular vacation destination. But the warmth means we force our air conditioning systems to do an enormous amount of work during the year, much more than somewhere that has freezing winters where ACs go into hibernation for several months.
That’s why, as we’re now into the fall, we recommend you think about your air conditioning system’s future. If your AC is 10 years old or younger and hasn’t given you any trouble cooling your house affordably, then it’s probably in good shape for the near future. (Just make certain you always schedule maintenance for it during the spring!) If your AC is older than this, it’s a smart idea to watch for indications the system is wearing down. It may be time to replace it. We’ll look more into this question below.
The air conditioner’s age
The average service life of a central air conditioning system is 10 to 15 years. If your AC is older than 15, we recommend having it replaced soon, even if it outwardly seems to be working well. A “vintage” AC isn’t valuable. It’s likely to lose energy efficiency, have repeated expensive repair needs, and fail suddenly. For an AC between the 10 and 15 range, pay special attention to any warning signs of problems, as they can tell you that your system is starting to fail.
Ask yourself if your AC has done its job as well this last summer as in previous summers. Have you had trouble getting your entire house cool? Do you find that you have to fiddle with the thermostat all the time to get a comfortable temperature? Is the house more humid than usual? Do you set your thermostat lower than normal to get comfortable? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to think of replacement if a repair is too costly.
So what is “too costly” for a repair? In general, you don’t want to pay more than half the cost of purchasing a new air conditioning system for any repair. You can also use the “Rule of 5,000” to determine if a repair is worth it. Multiply the quote for the repair by the age of the AC in years. If the amount is more than 5,000, replace the AC rather than repair it.
Too many repairs are also a warning it’s time to replace an AC. You shouldn’t need to have the AC repaired every year, and certainly not more than once per year. At that point, you’re putting far too much money into keeping the air conditioner going rather than investing in a new air conditioner.
In the last one to two years of an air conditioner’s service life, it will start to lose its energy efficiency and raise your electricity bills. If the cost to cool your house is rising and you don’t know why it may be an over-the-hill air conditioning system.
We can take care of replacing your air conditioning in Panama City, FL. We’ll also offer you honest opinions about whether to repair or replace your ailing system.