Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Smoking air conditioner

Every customer at some point may wonder when it’s time to replace their air conditioner. It’s definitely important to assess your air conditioning system and figure out if the time is coming to get a new one. If it breaks on a hot July day you will regret not having thought about this before!

On average, air conditioning systems “live” between 10-15 years in Florida. If you have it professionally maintained it will make a difference in the life of your system. As your air conditioner approaches its 10-year birthday, start to pay more attention to this question. Some owner’s manuals will have a recommended lifespan in there.

When it should be fixed…

You may start to notice that through your air conditioner is working, your energy bills seem to creep up though you aren’t using it more frequently. This is because your air conditioner is no longer running efficiently and it’s working harder to do its job.

At this point, if your air conditioner is working less efficiently but not breaking and requiring a lot of repairs, it may be worth it to go to a smaller measure than replacing it like a thorough cleaning and tune-up to extend its life.

When it shouldn’t… 

When your air conditioning system starts to break down repeatedly, kind of like that old car that eventually becomes more costly to repair than to replace, this is definitely a sign that you need a new one. If the cost of repair multiplied by the age of the unit exceeds what a new conditioning system would cost, it is worth it to go ahead and replace.


Warning Signs

Follow these warning signs for when to replace – don’t be caught off guard!

Repeated breakdowns

Like we said above, if your air conditioner has already needed a lot of repairs, that’s a good sign that it’s about to kick the bucket. The key is to choose to retire it and replace it with a new one before you and your family has to suffer through a hot summer night without AC.

Uneven temperatures from room to room

If some rooms in your house are warmer than others, this may be a sign that your air conditioner is losing its capacity and needs replacing. If your furnace is having trouble distributing cool air evenly throughout your home, you may have an outdated duct system.

If your air conditioner sounds a lot noisier than it used to be

Some sounds from your furnace are normal, but a lot of unusual sounds are not. Here are a few different sounds you want to look out for:


Loose screws or unsecured ductwork can be the source of a rattling sound. If you have either of these, conditioned air can be escaping causing your heating and cooling system to run more often and cost you more money on your energy bill.

If this happens as your natural gas furnace kicks in, the rattling could also be a sign of a cracked heat exchanger which is one of the largest causes of carbon monoxide leaks and can be very dangerous for you and your family!


Aging electrical components such as transformers, relays, and solenoids frequently begin to make humming and buzzing sounds as they age. While these sounds typically don’t warrant immediate action, they shouldn’t be dismissed either. As these sounds develop, so does the likelihood of them becoming problematic.


If you hear a loud boom after natural gas furnace comes on it can be scary. This sound should be taken as a warning that your furnace needs professional attention. This sound is usually caused by a delayed ignition. This means that while gas is releasing to be lit, the ignition is not lighting quickly enough thus allowing gas to build up before it ignites, causing a small explosion when it does. If you hear this, you should turn off your furnace until a State Certified HVAC contractor can inspect it and make sure everything is in order.


Your fan motor will make a steady sound as it runs, but it should never be so loud that it’s unusual. Your blower fan motor could be starting to go if you notice it making a lot of extra noise.

All of these sounds indicate that your furnace is experiencing aging problems.

When should I do it?

If you are planning ahead, you might also want to know when the best time is to have it replaced. You may think winter would be best since most HVAC businesses won’t be working on a lot of air conditioners at that time. Which is true, but even in Florida, HVAC contractors can get fairly busy with heating system repairs and replacements. Spring and fall are the best times to have your scheduled replacement because HVAC businesses are less booked, and some even have deals during the less busy months.

In conclusion...

Your air conditioning system is an important part of the comfort of your family in your home. Keeping it well maintained is an important key to it lasting as long as possible, but there is a time when an elderly machine will continue having problems even though it has been repaired. If you know the signs from this article, like repeated breakdowns, unusual, new sounds coming from your furnace, soot showing up around your registers, and uneven temperatures from room to room, you can be more prepared to replace it at the best time. This will save you time and money on repairing your old furnace. For more on information about air conditioning noises please check out our article What’s this Noise My A/C is Making?



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