Whether you are looking into buying a new air conditioner or simply want to get informed about your current cooling appliance, we hope this guide will help you understand more about your AC unit.
Unlike food and other products you consume, the air conditioner does not have an expiration date. But in the long run, it will surely come to the end of its lifespan.
Under general conditions, an air conditioner may last from 15 to 20 years. An HVAC professional will recommend regular tune-ups and proper maintenance to maximise the lifespan of air conditioners. However, if your AC unit has been around for a long time, you may already see some signs of deteriorating quality. Check out these signs if you're unsure whether it's time for a tune-up or replacement.
Factors that Affect Your Air Conditioner’s Quality
Size of the Air Conditioning Unit
It can be a bit surprising, but the size of your air conditioner has an effect on its quality and functionality. If your AC unit is smaller than what your house requires, it may need to work harder than it has to. This will give it regular wear and tear. On the other hand, an AC unit that is larger than your room requirements may cause excess moisture or humidity before it reaches the standard full cycle to achieve the right temperature. This will cause it to wear out faster.
Where you place your unit can also affect the life expectancy of your cooling system. Generally, changing your thermostat settings regularly may wear out your unit. When placed in an area where there is direct sunlight or many sources of heat, your thermostat may give inconsistent readings that may cause fluctuations and increased power consumption.
Even if you buy a high-end air conditioner with a longer life expectancy, some mistakes during installation may affect its efficiency and shorten its lifespan. When installing your AC, make sure the people doing it are experts who are knowledgeable enough to understand how the parts are placed as well as their functions. The good news is that many air conditioner shops offer professional installation services.
When your thermostat is set low, your AC unit will consume more energy than usual. To address this, try changing your settings to a more favourable value to save energy when there is no real need for cool air in your home.
No matter how high the quality of your air conditioner was when it was bought, it will require thorough care. A regular maintenance service includes tune-ups like replacing filters to keep your air conditioner in prime condition. This is to ensure that your HVAC system will continue to provide you with quality air without forcing it to work twice as hard due to unseen damage or dirt that blocks the unit's air flow.
Frequency and Pattern of Usage
While air conditioners are designed to resist wear and tear, if your HVAC system is constantly used the whole day, it will more likely be prone to damage and may greatly affect your air conditioner's average lifespan. To address this, you may set a running schedule or use the smart function of your air conditioner to automatically switch off once your ideal temperature is attained.
Also, take note that the air conditioner compressor works harder when in contact with direct sunlight, heat-releasing appliances, and generally hot places. As much as possible, avoid placing your air conditioner in direct sunlight or in high exposure to heat.
Exposure to Elements
As we mentioned earlier, the location of your air conditioner greatly affects your AC's average life span. An air conditioner that is exposed to hot weather or extreme weather conditions will more likely need frequent repairs.
Signs that Your Air Conditioner Lifespan is at its End
Considering the factors above, these are obvious signs that your air conditioner needs repairs or replacement.
Your Air Conditioner is More than 10 Years Old
HVAC systems have a long lifespan. However, the older the unit becomes, the less efficient it gets. Older systems may constantly need repairs and may end up affecting your electricity bills due to outdated functions. An older unit may also have come past its warranty period and may have fewer available parts, so repairs can be harder. Considering the repair costs and frequent malfunctions you may encounter with an old HVAC system, we recommend looking for a new AC unit with better functions and efficiency.
Your Air Conditioner Breaks Down Frequently
If your existing system costs you too much already for the constant repair needs that it's not worth, it's the best time to look for a better replacement.
Your Energy Bills Suddenly Increased
An AC system at the end of its life will literally cost you lots of money, pain, and hassle. Aside from regular repair services, you can expect your energy bills to skyrocket with an old AC unit. This is because an old air conditioner uses more energy to provide your room with cool air compared to a new system.
An old air conditioning system loses its SEER rating as it ages. This rating describes the highest possible efficiency of the unit. A decrease means that the air conditioning system uses more power to provide the same result, which results in higher energy costs.
Your Home Becomes Excessively Humid
Do you still experience excessive humidity despite having your air conditioner on? If so, you might need to go through tune ups or consider replacing it with a new unit.
Your air conditioner unit is supposed to combat humidity while providing you with the proper cooling feel, but as your air conditioner becomes older, this function becomes inefficient. This ties down to increasing energy bills since the air conditioning unit is required to work harder to achieve better results.
Your Air Conditioner Produces Unpleasant Smell
The top air conditioners are supposed to improve indoor air quality by providing the right temperature and eliminating bacteria and harmful elements through the air filter. If the unit is releasing unpleasant odours, it may indicate that you need to replace your air filter or that mould is already forming in the ductwork.
Your Air Conditioner Produces Loud Noise
Although air conditioners produce sounds, if your unit is strangely noisy, it means that it needs repair or replacement. This noise can be caused by dirt buildup, a broken fan, or damage to the interior.
Your Air Conditioner Has Leaks
Leaks from air conditioners are not normal and may lead to some health issues, especially when refrigerant is involved. A leaking AC unit can be caused by many factors, so it's recommended to ask for a professional repair service as soon as possible to detect the root of the problem. Take note that issues with the refrigerant should only be handled by professionals.
Routine leaks from AC units call for replacement to maintain the safety of the air and environment.
Do I Need to Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?
After knowing the signs, it can still be very confusing to identify whether the air conditioning unit needs repairs or an actual replacement. In the end, an air conditioner is a huge investment. Read through these factors to get out of the dilemma.
Air conditioner's age. Air conditioners last anywhere from 10–15 years on average when properly maintained. As a basis, many air conditioner warranties end in 10 years, which means that while the need for frequent repairs may increase, you will have no warranty to handle the increasing repair costs once the unit reaches the end of the warranty period. In this case, buying a new air conditioner is the better solution.
Cost of repair. Having to go through repairs and regular maintenance can cost you time and money. If your maintenance cost is not worth the quality of the output, it's time to replace the unit. If the cost is still not that high and if the AC can do its job well, you can still have it repaired.
Environmental Impact. Older air conditioner models are not as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as new ones. This is because air conditioners that are over ten years old use R-22 Freon refrigerant, which greatly harms the ozone layer.
Air conditioners are designed to last. However, even the best air conditioners out there can lose their quality with each passing year. To get the most out of your AC's life span, you will need to give it the needed maintenance and proper usage. This will help you save money and avoid hassle in the long run. However, when the time comes that you really have to say goodbye to your cooling system, it's good to look for a new air conditioner with the right size, BTU, and functions based on your needs. This will ensure that your AC will work at its peak without straining its compressor.
Are you in the market for a new air conditioner? Check out Megafurniture's collection of high-quality and energy-efficient units in Singapore.