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Repairs vs. Replacement: Troubleshooting Your AC Needs

technician working on air conditioning systemIt goes without saying that your air conditioner gets heavy use over the course of the year. If you aren’t already doing so, soon you’ll begin keeping your AC system on consistently to keep your home comfortable this summer season. The last thing you need, then, is a sudden air conditioner breakdown or need for air conditioning repair in New Port Richey, just when summer hits its peak temperatures.

First off, this is why investing in routine maintenance is so important. But even with maintenance, other factors can play a role—such as the age of your air conditioner. The good news in all of this is that most repair needs exhibit clear signs and symptoms before they force your air conditioner to break down entirely. But how do you know the difference between an air conditioner that needs repair, and one that needs replacement?

Signs of an Air Conditioner in Distress

It’s important that you never try to formally diagnose or repair a malfunctioning air conditioning system yourself, as it contains potentially dangerous components like refrigerant—which requires formal training and licensing to safely handle. However, you can still spot the signs that your air conditioner is in distress, and then take the appropriate measures by giving our team a call.

These signs include:

  • Decreased Airflow: Air that isn’t moving through your vents with the speed you’d expect can be a big problem. This typically means that your cold, conditioned air is trapped within the system, and this can cause the coils to freeze over and create further problems. Even if that doesn’t occur, reduced airflow means that your air conditioner is working too hard to do its job and is putting strain on the system. It’s also going to cause your cooling bills to rise unnecessarily.
  • Refrigerant Loss: Have you ever been told that the refrigerant in your air conditioner is something that depletes, like gasoline from a car? If so, you were unfortunately misinformed. Your air conditioner is supplied with a precise amount of refrigerant designed for that air conditioner, and should last the system’s entire lifespan. If you’re losing refrigerant, it means you have a leak, which can be detrimental to the overall system.
  • Short Cycling: This is the name giving to the process in which an AC system turns on and off numerous times throughout the day without running very long in the interim. AC systems use more energy turning on and off than they do running, so therefore you can see why this would be a problem.
  • Odd/Unfamiliar Noises: You hear your air conditioner operate day in and day out. So if you hear something unusual—clanging, banging, whining, rattling—then there’s a very high chance that something is wrong within your system, whether it be a loose component or otherwise.
  • Old Age: This in and of itself isn’t a repair need, but rather a sign that your system should be replaced. Depending on the manufacturer and how well cared for your system is, the average air conditioner should last 10-15 years. If yours is this age or older, and is facing any number of the above-mentioned repair needs, then it’s absolutely time to consider an upgrade. A typical rule of thumb is that if your next repair will cost half of what the system is worth, it’s time to replace.

You can count on IERNA’s Heating & Cooling for reliable AC services. Contact us today!

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