How do you know if you need a new AC unit? Consider these five bullet points.

A poorly functioning air conditioning system can contribute to poor indoor air quality by allowing dirt and airborne pollutants to build up in the air ducts and leak into your rooms. An undersized, less efficient system may not sufficiently dehumidify your indoor air. Excess moisture in the ducts creates a breeding ground for mold, exposing allergy-sensitive family members to irritating mold spores.

Have you remodeled your home adding a home office, enlarging a kitchen or attaching a workout space? Your current AC system, adequately sized for the original space, may not be able to cool the enlarged footprint of your home.

Older HVAC systems often used an ozone-depleting refrigerant, R-22, frequently appearing under the trade name, “Freon.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the import and manufacture of R-22 as of January 1, 2020. New AC systems use refrigerants friendly to the ozone, and by incorporating “two-stage” compressor technology and programmable thermostats, these AC units save energy, too.

Aging HVAC systems often require repairs or leak refrigerant. To recharge a system using R-22, you must purchase the dwindling supply of the substance at increased cost. AC units become less efficient as they age and require more energy to cool your home.

The age of your system may prove the biggest factor in your decision to install a new AC system. Well-maintained AC systems generally operate up to 15 years, but poorly maintained AC units can fail in as little as five years. According to ENERGY STAR®, the EPA’s arm rating product effectiveness and efficiency, owners should replace their systems when the AC units exceed 10 years of age.

If you checked off several of these bullets, consider consulting with an HVAC professional who can assess your current system and, if necessary, help you find and size an energy-efficient AC unit to meet your needs.