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Old AC unit? Here are 5 signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner

Kate Heinz, for Wolverton Air
Learn when it’s time to replace your AC before summer temps start climbing.

Heating and air are modern luxuries that often get taken for granted. But when your air conditioning unit is on the fritz during a sweltering summer, you’ll quickly notice its absence.

As HVAC systems age, their efficiency decreases, resulting in higher operating costs and more frequent repairs. Newer systems, on the other hand, run more quietly and effectively, providing comfort, peace of mind and cost savings.

Before the summer heat is here, ensure that your air conditioner is up to date and equipped to handle the rising temperatures. Here are five signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner.

1. Your unit is more than 10 years old.

Because air conditioning units become less efficient over time, the most obvious sign warranting its replacement is age. AC units older than 10 years have a higher rate of failure, and the likelihood of failure increases each year. Most unit failures occur during the summer months, making the cost of replacing equipment even higher. It’s often cheaper in the long run to replace a unit at around the 14-year mark than to make regular repairs.

2. Your electric bill is more expensive each summer.

Again, AC units will inevitably become less efficient over time, much like any other piece of machinery. As a result, you’ll likely see a slight increase in the cost of using your unit as time goes by. However, if you’re noticing that your electric bill is more expensive each summer, it’s likely time to replace your air conditioning unit.

3. Your unit has significant rust buildup.

A large amount of rust either on the inside or outside of your unit is a sure sign that your AC could use an upgrade. However, minor rust buildup on the outside of the unit isn’t anything to fret about. If you’re not sure whether the amount of rust is cause for concern or if you notice a rust stain on the side of your home originating from a small pipe, contact an AC technician.

4. Your thermostat takes longer to reach its setpoint.

As a part of the normal wear and tear process, AC units can lose some of their ability to cool your home. If you notice it takes longer to reach your desired temperature, it’s time to replace your unit.

5. Your unit has refrigerant leaks that can’t be repaired.

If you have had to add freon — a common type of refrigerant — to your unit each year because of a leak, it’s time to replace your AC. The leak will only get worse, and the cost of regular maintenance will just add up; “patching” a leak each year isn’t a long-term solution.

When you’re ready to replace your AC unit, turn to a team of trusted technicians. Wolverton Air, the oldest family-owned heating and cooling business in Dallas County, Texas, has provided exceptional service to its clients since 1939.

Wolverton Air has provided exceptional service to its clients since 1939.

To date, four generations of the Wolverton family have run the business, and their clients have similar generational ties. Said one customer about the team’s long-standing reputation: “My great-grandfather did business with Wolverton Air back in the day when the company was just starting out.”

Wolverton Air has long been at the forefront of the industry. In the early 1950's, the team recognized the trend toward central air conditioning as a housing standard and began to specialize in the field. In 1984, the company was one of the first licensed air conditioning businesses in Texas.

Don’t let rising temperatures and a faulty AC ruin your summer fun. Contact Wolverton Air today.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.