Summer is coming. The weather will get hot. When it does, you’ll want your air conditioning unit to function properly. What you don’t want is for it to break down on one of those sweltering days. So be prepared and check this list to see if it is time for a new unit in your Chicago North Shore or Northwest suburban home.

  1. Age. The general rule of thumb is the average life of an AC system is 15 years. That number will vary based on a few factors, such as where you set the thermostat (the lower you set it, the more the unit will run) and how well you have maintained it (if you have not maintained it, the lifespan will be shorter).
  2. Frequent repairs. If you are repairing the unit frequently, at some point it will make sense to replace it with a new air conditioner. One popular way to gauge is the $5,000 rule.  Multiply the cost of the air conditioner repair by the age of your AC unit. If the amount is more than $5,000, consider a new unit. Of course, if you have repeated repairs, it makes sense to replace the unit as well, even if they never trigger the rule.
  3. Rising utility bills. If your energy bills are rising, that is a sign your air conditioner is not operating at top efficiency. A newer unit will require an investment, but over time it will pay off in both lower utility bills and increased comfort.
  4. Blowing warm air. Your air conditioning system provides cooling relief by blowing cold air into your home. But if the air coming into your home is warm, that means your system is not working.  
  5. Blowing feeble air. Even if there is cool air, if it is weak coming out of the vents, it cannot cool you. This could be a sign of a failing compressor (note: if this is the only problem, it could be a problem with ductwork or the furnace blower motor and you should check that out).
  6. Noise. If you are hearing grinding, squealing, or scraping, there may be a problem. It may be fixable, but have it checked out.
  7. Funny smells. If your system is emitting a burning or musty odor, that also indicates a problem.
  8. Too much humidity. One function of your HVAC system is to remove humidity while cooling. If you notice your house is too humid, that could indicate an air conditioner problem.
  9. Leaks. If Freon or water are leaking around your unit, you should get that checked. A Freon leak can cause health issues.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for AC Repairs and Replacement

Ravinia Plumbing’s expert heating and cooling system technicians can help you determine whether you should repair your existing unit or if you need a new air conditioner. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.