Does your AC system constantly cycle on and off, cool your home unevenly, or refuses to turn on more than just occasionally? If you're not sure whether these and other similar issues will require an air conditioning repair or a full replacement, take a look at the questions to ask right now.
Is This the System's First Major Issue?
Your system has given you cool air for years without a major issue. But now it has a problem. Does this mean you only need to schedule an AC repair service, or is an AC replacement in your near future?
While some first-time problems are serious enough to require a replacement, many aren't. If you've ignored seemingly minor AC issues or failed to keep up with regular maintenance tasks (such as changing the air filter or scheduling professional pre- and post-season inspections/cleaning services), the first major problem could indicate extensive or lingering damage.
In this type of situation, the problem at fault is more likely the accumulation of smaller issues that have gone unchecked for years. If the wear or damage is significant, you may need to replace the system. But if the first-time problem is truly a new issue for a well-maintained air conditioner, it's more likely that you'll only need to schedule a repair service.
How Old Is the System?
Do you have a brand-new or newer air conditioner that won't cool your home completely or turns off before the indoor air is chilly? The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors notes that a central AC system should have at least a seven to 15-year lifespan before the homeowner needs to consider a replacement.
A new air conditioner shouldn't struggle to keep your home cold. While a larger system may seem like it would cool your home more effectively, this isn't always true. It's important to find the right size air conditioner for your home's square footage and energy needs. An oversized AC system can short cycle (turn on, shut off prematurely, turn on again, and repeat this cycle), fail to decrease the humidity level in your home, cause warm and cool spots, make too much noise, or increase your energy bill unnecessarily.
An undersized system may also fail to cool your home, cause warm/cold spots, or cycle on and off more often than it should. If you notice these types of problems and have a new or newer system, contact an HVAC technician to evaluate the size and condition of the unit. There is no repair for an over- or undersized system.
Even if the system is sized correctly, it could have a manufacturer defect or unusual premature wear that is covered under a warranty. A severe defect may require either a parts replacement or a full replacement. Before you schedule this service, check with the manufacturer to learn more about what is/isn't covered under the warranty.
Contact an AC repair service for more info.