When Should I Repair or Replace My AC?
While air conditioning (AC) systems typically last 15 years or longer1, many central AC units in Florida can have a lower life span because of the heat, humidity and salt in the air.
AC system replacement can be a big investment. So, what if we told you your AC system could last much longer if properly maintained and repaired?
To help you get the most out of your AC unit, take a look at signs your system needs a tune up, repair or replacement, and discover common misconceptions about heating and cooling your home.
Does your home always feel warm and humid?
Constant warm and humid air in your home can mean a number of things – from something as simple as a wrong thermostat setting or dirty air filter to a refrigerant leak, damaged air duct or unclean evaporator coils.
Pinellas County residents often report abnormally warm indoor air in the summer months. This is often a shade issue, so first try closing your blinds in late morning or afternoon, purchase an awning or sun shade, or plant a tree to block out the bright sun.
If your AC still isn’t blowing out cool air, there’s a good chance your system needs a tune-up or repair. Call our AC professionals at Air Care to take a look when you’re experiencing warmer than normal temperatures.
Does your AC cool your rooms evenly?
Your AC system works a lot like our human heart, veins and arteries. Like the “heart,” the central AC unit creates conditioned air, which is delivered through air ducts and vents (like veins and arteries) into every room. Your return vents then take in the used air, dirt and debris, and deliver it back to your central AC unit to recondition and repeat the process.
When cool air doesn’t flow like it used to, this can often mean your vents are blocked or damaged, or that your AC compressor may have failed. Before you give us a call, check that all of your air and return vents are open.
Many people believe that closing your vents in unused rooms helps to better cool the occupied ones. However, closing vents (and not others) can actually strain your AC unit, causing air ducts to break or leak within walls and release conditioned air into parts of your home that don’t need it.
If the air in some rooms continues to feel absent, weak or different than others, call our Air Care professionals to inspect the issue.
Does your AC make an unusual noise?
Whether you hear a low hum, loud rattle or anything in between, a new and unusual AC noise is an easy indication there’s something wrong with your system.
First, turn off your AC from the thermostat or circuit breaker, and give it a few minutes to rest. If you still hear the sound once you turn the system back on, call our team as soon as you can. An unusual noise typically means your AC system has a more complicated issue, like a failing motor or broken belt, which is a job only a professional should address.
Is there excessive moisture around your air vents or AC unit?
Around Clearwater and the beaches, moisture and condensation are common inside and outside your home. But when it comes to your AC system, excessive moisture around your air vents or central AC unit usually means there’s a leak that needs attention.
Sometimes it’s a sign of a leaking refrigerant coolant, which can be damaging to your family’s health and the construction of your home. Other times, it’s just a dirty filter, coils or drainage pipe. In either case, call our experts to diagnose the issue.
Does the temperature match your thermostat setting?
Your thermostat’s job is to regulate and read the temperature of your home. If the temperature you set does not match the temperature the thermostat reads, don’t panic. It could simply be a broken thermostat or simple AC issue.
Before researching a replacement, reach out to Air Care technicians to check your thermostat and AC system. In the event you need a new thermostat, we’ll share our thermostat recommendations – ranging from “smart” and programmable thermostats to mechanical and non-programmable options. Whatever thermostat you choose, our technicians will properly install it for an accurate reading.
Is your HVAC system 10+ years old?
If so, you’re doing something right. (And if you’re unsure, check the side of your air handler or central AC unit for a manufacturing date.)
However, while ongoing AC maintenance and repairs extend the life of your system, it doesn’t always mean your system is the most energy efficient. Central AC design and technology continue to change over time, and year after year, AC manufacturing companies develop new and improved systems that cut down on energy bill costs for homeowners and business owners.
It’s common for older homes to have outdated AC systems and minimal air return vents, which help conditioned air properly circulate throughout your home. Homes built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s usually include only one or two return air vents throughout the home, compared to newer homes and systems, which include one or two return vents in every room, making your AC system more efficient.
Before you consider an AC system replacement, check with our professionals to learn if installing more return vents can decrease pockets of heat and dust in your home, giving your whole house cooler and cleaner air.
Does your AC system need constant repairs?
As your AC system grows in age, the frequency of repairs will likely increase, too.
At Air Care, our professionals act with your best interest in mind and help you make the best decision for your needs and budget, whether it’s continuing to repair issues or recommending a new AC system replacement altogether.
Service Tune-Ups, Repairs and Replacement: What’s the Difference?
As you know by now, many AC problems can be prevented with regular HVAC maintenance and repairs, which will save you money over the life of your AC equipment.
At Air Care, we recommend a bi-annual maintenance appointment and tune-up for $69.50. During a tune-up, our technicians will:
- Check the health of your system
- Check the motor oil
- Drain pans
- Inspect indoor and outdoor coils
- Sanitize the air duct system to kill mold and mildew
- Remove loose debris from the outdoor unit
- Check all electrical components
Service calls and repairs vary by heating and cooling issues, and replacements vary by home size and needs.
Call us today to explore your options.
Our AC Replacement Recommendation: Rheem® HVAC Systems
If an AC system replacement is necessary, we recommend quality Rheem® heating and cooling equipment.
Rheem systems are built to last2, but even some of the best products can be affected by outside factors like the air, water and storm conditions often in the Tampa Bay area. That’s why Rheem offers competitive product warranties that protect your AC system in the event there’s a manufacturing issue.
Air Care is an authorized dealer for Rheem HVAC products in Pinellas, southern Pasco and western Hillsborough counties. Learn how our professionals can help you service, repair or replace your Rheem AC system.
Looking for a professional HVAC company?
Turn to your Clearwater air and heating experts at Air Care for all of your AC system maintenance, repair and replacement needs. We’re here to guide you through the process and help you decide the best options for you.
“My experience with Air Care was amazing! The technicians that came over were highly professional and efficient with their work. Thanks to Air Care, my air conditioning no longer has problems, and my house has been cooler than ever! It was well worth the money. I recommend this company to anyone in need of a professional business with kind and efficient workers.” – Shiba
 Rheem Pro Partners: How long does a central AC last
 Rheem product warranties