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3 Factors That Determine the Life Span of Your Air Conditioner

hourglassAlthough it’s difficult to predict your air conditioner life span, your cooling system will give three signs when it’s starting to fail. Rising electric bills, increasing humidity and the age of the system indicate it might be nearing the end of its functional life.

  • Higher energy consumption – A system that starts consuming more electricity might be signaling its parts are wearing out, especially if the system hasn’t been routinely maintained. Not changing the air filters or having it serviced annually contributes to premature wear on the parts. If your electric bills are rising without an increase in rates or summertime heat, it’s likely a sign that your system is wearing out.
  • Higher humidity – Air conditioners remove humidity as a by-product of cooling, and if it seems it’s leaving more behind, it could be malfunctioning. Another factor that leaves humidity behind is a system that runs in brief cycles. Cooling systems that don’t run more than 10 minutes at a time leave behind humidity and this short cycling often indicates a system that’s too big for the home.This short cycling causes more serious A/C problems as well, including higher energy use and a shorter air conditioner life span. The power consumption is highest when these appliances first start, and one that runs for a short period turns on and off more frequently. The high electrical load also stresses the parts and it’s not uncommon for an oversized air conditioner to fail prematurely. The only recourse is to replace the system with one that’s been properly sized using software called Manual J.
  • Age – If your system is over 10 years old and needs repairs or has a history of repairs, it may make more sense to replace it with higher efficiency equipment. Although a new system is an investment, it will pay you back in lower energy bills over time and increased comfort.

To learn more about your air conditioner life span and determining its condition, contact the pros at Air Experts. We’ve proudly provided HVAC services for Raleigh area homeowners since 1986.

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