October is the best time of year to purchase and install a new air conditioner. Waiting until the summer heat is over is a good time to invest in home improvement projects ahead of the holiday season. AC sellers often have special offers available to get rid of surplus summer stock, so you might find a good deal right now.
If you're experiencing any of the following issues, consider them warning signs that your unit needs replacement.
Test to see if your air conditioner maintains a steady temperature by determining whether the rooms in your home remain at a specific level throughout the day. Purchase a thermometer that you can move from room to room, and keep a record of each room's ambient temperature. Compare that against:
- Your AC's thermostat
- The previous day's temperatures
- The other rooms in the home
This will give you an idea of whether your unit is performing adequately. If not, it may need servicing or replacing.
Listen closely to your air conditioner to detect any odd sounds or particularly loud operating noises. Not only are these irritating, but they could indicate mechanical problems, which typically result in the unit having higher energy consumption. Some sounds can be resolved with a good service, while others indicate it's time for a new AC.
Lots of false starts
Take a few hours to observe whether your AC starts up unnecessarily. This is a clear indication that it is not in perfect condition. It's not always easy to identify this problem, partly because unnecessary start-ups may happen while you are out of the house and the unit is set to automatic.
High energy bills
Check your monthly energy bills to see how they compare against the same months the previous year. An aging air conditioner draws more power than a newer unit, and by replacing it you could save a substantial amount of money, and experience better cooling and improved energy efficiency for your home.
Frequent repairs needed
Evaluate the number of times you've needed repairs to your air conditioner in the past year, and the cost involved. Frequent work is expensive and could be a result of the age of the unit, or it could be overworked because it's the wrong size for your home. Both of these are good reasons to invest in a new AC ahead of the higher prices you'll pay next summer.
Modern air conditioning units are more energy efficient than older ones, so even if your AC is in excellent operating condition you could benefit from buying a newer model now, especially if you can get it at a really good price.