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When to Upgrade Your Home’s AC System

Repair or replace? When should a homeowner upgrade their AC system? Air conditioners are a necessity for keeping a home at a consistently comfortable temperature year-round. Particularly in the Midwest, where temperatures in the warmer months can spike to outrageous levels, a working AC system is a requirement to stay cool. While it sees regular use, most homeowners will not be looking closely at their AC units on a regular basis, so it can become difficult to determine the overall health of the unit, and whether it’s still fine, or if it’s time to send it out to pasture for an upgraded system. To help get a better idea of when it’s time for homeowners to welcome a new AC unit into their home, keep an eye out for these signs to help determine the health of a home’s current AC system.

Age is a Very Important Number

Everything has a best by date in the long run, AC units included. The typical life span for a residential AC unit is 10–15 years, depending on the type, manufacturer, and general wear and tear on the unit and system. If a home’s unit is reaching the decade marker, it’s a good idea to start taking a closer look at it to make sure it’s still keeping the home consistently cool, and it isn’t showing any signs of age or breaking down — such as making odd noises, major leaks, or off-putting smells.

Odd Noises and Weird Smells

Speaking of odd noises and weird smells, there are a limited amount of things that should emanate from a well-functioning AC unit — generally cool air and the sound of a healthy motor blowing that cool air. If the unit is starting to rattle, rumble or grind, or if it is emitting smells of burning or melting plastic, it’s a good idea to shut the unit down immediately and have it serviced to determine what is happening internally. The smells could just be excess dust burning off the unit as it heats up, or it could be wiring beginning to fray, but a professional will be able to determine for certain.

Increased Dust and Inconsistent Cooling

The point of an AC unit is to move air throughout the home, but that air should be able to hold a consistent temperature, and it should be without excess dust and debris. An increase in dust or debris could signal that the unit needs to have its air filter replaced, but it could also be a sign that the unit is no longer capable of filtering the air throughout the home properly. 

Similarly, the unit should be able to provide cool air consistently to every room and every vent. If there are spots where the cool air never seems to reach, or if it feels like the unit is providing air that just never seems to be cool enough, it could be an issue with the thermostat, but it could also be an issue with the AC unit itself.

A Rising Energy Bill

Energy bills are known to fluctuate month-to-month and season-to-season, but there should be an air of consistency to the pattern. If homeowners notice their energy bills rising without a seasonal reason, the culprit could be a run-away AC unit. As systems become older and less efficient, they tend to use an increasing amount of power, causing homeowner power bills to spike. 

Homeowners rely on having a continuously operational, efficient AC unit within their home. If you feel like your home’s AC unit is struggling to keep up, or if you have questions about whether now is the right time for an upgrade, reach out to the technicians at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. The licensed technicians at Duane Blanton have 30 years of experience in HVAC, and are able to guide you toward the right choice for your unique home heating and cooling situation. Give the experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Services a call today, at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online through their convenient online scheduling portal. 

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