Most people rarely think about their split air conditioner. That is, until it breaks down, leaving them shivering in the winter and sweating in the summer. Whilst homeowners want to keep their air conditioners running as long as possible, repairing the issue may not be the answer. It is, therefore, essential to understanding when to replace your old or faulty split system.
Our heating and cooling experts at Air-Cond Installs WA share some red flags you must watch out for. The following signs tell you it is time to replace your home’s split system:
Your Split System May Be Nearing Its Expected Lifespan
Your system has served you for many years. But like everything else, your trusty air conditioner has an expiration date. That said, the age of the aircon is an essential factor in considering whether it is time for a replacement.
The exact lifespan varies significantly from one appliance to another, usually based on the brand, model, and maintenance history. If you have provided your aircon with great care, it can usually last for 10-15 years.
The age of the system is directly related to its energy efficiency and performance. You will notice that it takes longer to cool or heat the room. It may also need more frequent repairs and part replacements. If that is the case with your aircon, investing in a new unit may be more cost-effective.
High Energy Bills
When an air conditioner works harder, it uses more energy to maintain your desired temperature. The declining efficiency also causes it to turn on and off more often than expected, indicating it is struggling. You will probably notice that the cooling capacity has also reduced, prompting you to run the split system for longer.
Suppose you notice a substantial rise in your energy bills. One of the first steps is to rule out other possibilities first. Did the energy rates increase? Perhaps your consumption has climbed for the past several months. If any of these situations do not apply, your split system may tell you it is time for a new one.
Constant Split System Repairs
If you keep requiring multiple aircon repair services, it may indicate that your unit is reaching the end of its functional life. Certain repairs, such as compressor or coil replacements, can be expensive. It may not be cost-effective to do so for an old unit. The problem is that other components risk failure if you do not replace the malfunctioning parts.
Repairs are costly. However, many homeowners avoid buying a new unit because they think it is more expensive. As a general rule of thumb, if the repair costs exceed or are nearing 50% of the price of a new system, a replacement is a much better solution.
Inconsistent temperatures can be due to many reasons, including having an old system. Sometimes, it is caused by a lack of regular maintenance. You may want to check the air filters first to ensure they are clean or do not need replacement. Don’t forget the outdoor unit, which should also be clean and debris-free.
Sometimes, it is a thermostat problem and not with the aircon itself. Be sure to check the thermostat settings. If it is malfunctioning, you can replace it if needed. Sometimes, it is simply that your aircon is not the right size for the space. Incorrect sizing can be problematic because it can lead to inconsistent temperatures and reduced aircon efficiency.
However, if you have checked everything and it looks like the problem lies in the compressor, blower motor, or evaporator coil, it’s better to replace the system entirely. This is the best solution, especially if your home has an older split aircon.
Your Split System is Producing Strange Noises and Smells
Unpleasant smells and noises can be due to many reasons, including dirty filters. The accumulation of dust and debris on the air filters is normal. That’s why you must clean or replace the filters regularly to help eliminate that musty odour.
Speaking of mustiness, mould and mildew can also cause the split system to produce smells and noises that no one likes. Moisture build-up in your indoor unit is often the main reason for the stench. It can easily be corrected by regularly cleaning and maintaining the unit. Proper drainage is also crucial to ensure that the collected water is drained away through the system’s condensate drain line.
You may also notice a burning smell whenever your aircon is operating. It is often due to an overheated motor or electrical wiring. This certainly requires immediate attention. If it keeps happening, the only solution is to purchase a new unit, as this can be a fire hazard.
Sometimes, the vibrations and increased noises result from the improper indoor or outdoor unit mounting. It’s easily solvable by ensuring the units are securely fastened and are in a flat, level area.
Other causes of noises and smells coming from your split system include:
- Chemical smells coming from a refrigerant leak
- Bad odours due to pest infestations
- Buzzing or humming noises due to loose or damaged fan blades, compressor, or motor mounts
If the noise and smells are persistent, combined with your system being old and malfunctioning frequently, it is time to buy a new unit.
Replace Your Unit for Environmental Reasons
Even if your unit is still working, but you know it is harming the environment, it may be a responsible decision to replace it with a newer model. Old units generally use refrigerants that have consequential environmental impacts. You can start transitioning away from these options and use eco-friendlier alternatives. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Choose a more energy-efficient model. Newer split systems typically have an Energy Rating Label that shows you their energy consumption and efficiency. The more stars the aircon has, the more efficient it is, and it can help lower your carbon footprint.
- The split system should use environmentally friendly refrigerants. Australia phased out R22, the most common refrigerant in air conditioners. The accepted refrigerants are hydrofluorocarbons, including R-134a and R-410, but the most used refrigerants for air conditioners in the country are R-410A and R32. These changes allow a more efficient way of carrying heat with a much reduced environmental impact.
- A new split air conditioning system can help decrease greenhouse emissions. When you upgrade to a more energy-efficient aircon, you lower your production of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s because the system uses less energy, so it does not rely as heavily on fossil fuels as older units.
Switching to a newer model for environmental reasons also includes responsibly disposing of the old appliance. You can turn it in at a recycling facility since it has components that can easily be reused and repurposed, including metals and plastics.
Do you notice one or more of the signs mentioned above? It may be time for a new split system. Upgrade your old air conditioner so you enjoy a more comfortable home whilst saving on energy bills. Contact Air-Cond Installs WA to hire a team of experienced and certified split system installers today!