Air conditioners can last for many years. Some last a decade, and many last even longer than that. But regardless of your air conditioner's life span, it will eventually fail and need to be replaced. It's actually easier to catch your AC before it fails completely so you can replace it before being left in the heat. So, what are some signs this is the last summer for your air conditioner? Take a look.
Less Effective Cooling
Homeowners often assume that as long as the air coming out of the vents is cool, their air conditioner is fine. But that air may not be as cool as it should be if your air conditioner is on the verge of failure. Is your air conditioner running longer than usual to achieve the thermostat temperature? That's a sign the air is not as cool as it once was. Is your air conditioner failing to cool the home all of the way down to the temperature on your thermostat? That's another sign it is about to fail.
You might want to put your hand in front of the vent in the home of someone who has a new air conditioner. Feel how cold it is. Then, go home and stick your hand in front of your own vent. If the air is not as cool, this means your AC is likely struggling.
Look at the ground around your air conditioner. Do you see any fluid on the ground? If so, dip a piece of white paper or paper towel in that liquid. If the liquid is clear, then you're likely just looking at water, which is pretty normal. But if the liquid is colored—particularly if it is pink or green—you're looking at refrigerant.
A refrigerant leak can sometimes be repaired, but this is a big project and is often not worth doing if your AC is already older. The refrigerant used in a lot of older AC units is not sold anymore. More likely, an air conditioning contractor will tell you this means it's time to replace your air conditioner.
If your AC unit is leaking and struggling to cool your home, that means this is its last summer. Consider replacing it sooner rather than later so you're not left completely without air conditioning. A local company can come provide a quote, make some recommendations, and then install your new air conditioner.
Contact a local air conditioning service to learn more.