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6 signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner


An air conditioning system is a modern comfort people in the Valley rely on throughout summer months. In extreme heat, your AC is more than a comfort; it’s a life-saver, and that’s why it’s extremely important to keep your AC system in good working order. Before it fails, what are signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner?


Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Did you know? You can reduce energy use as much as 50% by switching to a high-efficiency air conditioner. energy.gov

There’s no “magic number,” but with good care, your AC unit should last 15-20 years. Regular maintenance can keep your AC unit running at maximum efficiency for its lifespan. When repairs are cost-effective, your local AC professional will encourage them.

The cost of repair for an AC system varies, but here are some national averages:


  • Compressor replacement: $1,350-$2,300

  • Condensate drain line flush: $75-$250

  • Condensate pump replacement: $240-$450

  • Condenser/fan motor: $450-$750

  • Condensing unit coil/replacement: $1,900-$2,900

  • Control circuit boards: $100-$590

  • Drain pans: $250-$575

  • Fuses, circuit breakers/relays: $75-$290

  • Outdoor condensing unit/fan motor: $200-$650

  • Refrigerant leak repair/recharge: $200-$1,500

  • Thermostat/new: $115-$470

Some repairs are cost-prohibitive. Sometimes it simply makes more sense to replace your air conditioner.


How to Know It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Repair vs. replacement may come down to prices. Here are 6 warning signs that indicate it might be time to replace your air conditioner:


  1. Age – If you “inherited” your older AC unit, have it inspected. An honest AC professional can tell you how much life is left so you can budget to replace your air conditioner.

  2. Bills – Your utility bill is higher but the company hasn’t raised its rates. You can replace your air conditioner and see noticeable ROI (return on investment) with lower monthly bills.

  3. Electronics – AC running when it’s off and frequent fuse-tripping can indicate you need a new AC system.

  4. Refrigerant – Air conditioners that “freeze-up” or show signs of leaking may have a blockage or refrigerant leak.

  5. Noises – Squeaking, grinding, banging… These are sounds indicating it’s time to replace your air conditioner.

  6. Uncool – No, not “unfashionable;” your air is too warm. If your AC isn’t producing cool air, there can be one or more costly problems.

4 Types of Air Conditioning Units in Arizona


If you need to replace your air conditioner, you may have options. Four types of AC systems and their pros/cons are:


  1. Central – Whole-house cooling circulation system using ducts/vents. If you already have the ductwork, this may be the most cost-efficient option.

  2. Ductless – Wall-mounted systems using mini-split air cooling; good for zone air conditioning. May cost 30% more in homes with existing ductwork than central AC.

  3. Evaporative – Cycles outdoor air using evaporated water; may provide whole-house cooling. Requires frequent maintenance and best for low-humidity areas.

  4. Room – Very popular; units provide spot-cooling when/where you need it. Might be a good choice but also may lower the future value of your property. Can leak badly if improperly installed.

Homeowners Need to Know

Did you know? On average, humidity in the Phoenix area is actually lower in summer and peaks in December-January. One way air conditioners can help us feel cooler is by decreasing the amount of moisture (humidity) in the air. energy.gov

We can tell you what AC repairs are economically sound or if it’s time to replace your air conditioner. When you aren’t sure your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) is delivering clean air efficiently, contact Forrest Anderson to request a quote.


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