In a home where the air conditioning is working well, you hardly notice it. You only know that you’re comfortable. If you notice something out of the ordinary, consider whether there are outside factors that might be putting an abnormal strain on your system. Some examples would be excessively hot weather or a party or other event with doors opening and closing, more people in the house, etc.
If nothing comes to mind, consider how old your equipment is. It varies some depending on climate, but in general if your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old and you are noticing changes in performance it may be nearing the end of its life.
There are four ways that you can know your equipment might be failing:
- Your electricity use has increased over previous years’ usage. Differences in temperatures year to year and changes in the cost of utilities can be other reasons, so do your best to keep this in perspective.
- You feel less comfortable in your home.
- Your cooling system is noisy.
- Your air conditioner or heat pump runs longer to maintain the same thermostat setting than it used to.
A qualified heating and cooling contractor can do a full evaluation on your air conditioner or heat pump. Often, we find that a thorough tune-up can bring the performance of the unit back to where it ought to be. If not, this is a way to get good information about what it will take to repair the unit, or whether putting that money into replacement of the unit would be a wiser choice.
You will want to consider carefully before putting a lot of money into repairs on an older air conditioner or heat pump. If someone has told you that you need to replace your equipment, many reputable contractors will even offer a “second opinion” so you can proceed with confidence.
Kim Nemecek works at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.