One of the most common modern conveniences in a home is an air conditioning system. When Willis Carrier of Brooklyn, New York, invented the first air conditioner in 1902, he changed homes and businesses across the globe forever. Since then, we’ve extended the longevity of air conditioning units through advancements in technology.

Even with improvements in design, AC units aren’t meant to last indefinitely. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is around 12 to 17 years. The lifespan of an air conditioner depends on three main factors — installation, environment and maintenance.

The most highly-ranked air conditioners on the market today come from notable brands such as Rheem, Goodman, Lennox, American Standard, Bryant, Amana, and Carrier. At Year Round Heating & Air Conditioning, we feature products from several of these brands, as they’re proven to last. However, all AC units can experience some issues at a point.

Owning an air conditioning unit takes a level of responsibility and knowledge to make sure it lasts as long as possible. In order for you to know how best to care for your AC unit, we’ll discuss the common problems associated with air conditioning units and how to know when to replace your unit. Keep reading to learn more.

Common Problems With Air Conditioners

How long does a Rheem air conditioner last — or any other brand, for that matter? Generally, all AC units last at least a decade, but you may experience specific maintenance issues along the way. To prevent yourself from having to sit in your home and sweat until your air conditioner is fixed, check out the following problems and how to mend them.

Problem 1: AC Unit Won’t Turn On

This problem can occur for several reasons, but the first thing you should check is to see if you’ve blown a fuse by looking at your circuit breakers. If you have, you can remedy the situation by contacting an electrician. However, that’s not the only reason why your AC may suddenly stop working.

It could also be due to a clogged air filter, dirty evaporator coils, a refrigerant leak or a wiring issue. It’s often a smart idea to contact a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) expert when you’re sure the problem doesn’t stem from a blown fuse. This way, they can locate and repair the issue.

Problem 2: Thermostat Glitches

Because your thermostat is the control center for your AC system, it’s a vital component that needs to remain operational. Some warning signs that your thermostat isn’t working properly could be that your air conditioner seems to run nonstop or your home isn’t cooling down to the desired temperature set on your thermostat.

Having such problems can come from a variety of factors regarding your thermostat. It could be a simple fix like replacing the batteries. Other reasons for such problems are miscalibration, improper program defects for the more technologically advanced thermostats or that the sensor thermostat — which measures the temperature of the air coming into the evaporator coils — is knocked out of place.

If you replace the batteries to no avail, consider contacting an HVAC expert to come and take a look.

Problem 3: Excessive Humidity or Uneven Temperatures

Having excessive moisture in your home in the form of humidity is a telltale sign that your air conditioning system, whether a unit or a central system, is having issues. Aside from having excessive humidity in your home, you may notice that your residence is not cooling properly. Both of these issues are warning signs that you need to check your HVAC system. 

One reason for these issues is having a low refrigerant level, which typically happens due to a leak. Both uneven temperatures or excessive humidity are likely from having dirty air ducts, as this results in improper airflow throughout your home. Another reason that your central air conditioning system is struggling could be due to tears in the ductwork. As a result, the cool air flows into your home’s walls, not the rooms. 

To avoid a refrigerant leak, tears in your ductwork or dirty ducts, you should pay regular attention to your AC unit’s refrigerant levels and have duct maintenance done around once a year.

Problem 4: Noisy AC Unit Fan

It can be nerve-wracking hearing your central air conditioner’s fan make strange noises when the air conditioning kicks on. Having an excessively noisy fan or a system that turns on too often is a sure sign your air conditioning system needs attention. This problem could be because the AC unit motor’s fan has dirt in it, its belts are worn out or it has deteriorating bearings.

If you notice that your AC is excessively noisy, it’s best to have an HVAC professional take a look.

Problem 5: Abnormally High Energy Bills

If you notice your utility bill is going up even though you haven’t changed your energy use habits, it’s likely a sign that you should get your AC system assessed by a professional. Although your air conditioning system may not be the culprit for such abnormalities, it’s a good idea to know for certain.

Problems that lead to higher bills could be any of the above problems previously mentioned or multiple issues occurring simultaneously. Failing parts such as motors, coils or capacitors cause a reduction in the efficiency of your system, making it have to work harder and longer. Although it seems simple, having dirty air filters can restrict airflow, which will result in the AC unit taking longer to cool down your home.

When you have abnormally high energy bills and it doesn’t seem to go down, it’s best to consult with a professional.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Generally, you’ll likely have to replace your AC unit every 10 years on average. With proper maintenance, you may find that your system lasts for a few years longer. Again, it all depends on the type of AC unit you have, how well you maintained it and where you live. In any case, as soon as you notice issues with your AC unit, it’s smart to consult a professional HVAC company to analyze your options. 

If your issue is significant or your unit is already old, you may find that it’s most cost-effective to replace it. Even though learning how much an air conditioner costs may make you want to keep your current unit for as long as possible, you can often experience energy savings when you replace it. Therefore, you’re better off installing a new one when the time comes.

Contact Year Round for Air Conditioner Repair and Replacement Services in Redlands, CA

At Year Round, we have experienced and trustworthy HVAC technicians that will work within your budget, providing you with our exclusive, special financing options. Furthermore, as a Rheem pro partner, we provide you with their full line of proven products and that of other competing brands in the industry, only using the top-ranking manufacturers. 

If you’d like more information or wish to schedule an appointment, reach out to us today.