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HVAC Age: How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Noblesville, IN HVAC Unit

By March 12, 2024May 2nd, 2024No Comments
hvac age

Fine wine, a great pair of jeans, high-interest savings accounts, cast-iron skillets: it’s safe to say that some things only get better with age. There’s a reason we love antiques and vintage items, after all. Sometimes, a piece’s history makes it special!

One thing you don’t want to call “vintage,” however, is your air conditioner. These complex systems only get worse over time, which can lower your indoor air quality, reduce your comfort, and even raise your utility bills.

That’s why it’s smart to know your HVAC’s age. If you aren’t sure when it’s time to retire an older system, here’s what you should know.

Find Your HVAC’s Age

If your air conditioner came with your home or you can’t remember when you purchased it, there are a few ways to figure out how old it is.

First, talk to the installer. In many cases, AC companies will keep a record of installations they’ve done.

If you don’t know who installed the unit, try checking the cabinet of your AC system. You should see a metal nameplate, often on the back of the cabinet, that includes the unit’s technical specifications.

Look at the upper-right-hand corner. You should see a manufacturing date (often listed as “MFR DATE”) that can help you figure out the unit’s age.

If you don’t see that info, look for the system’s serial number. Most manufacturers encode the age into this number, sometimes in the first four digits. However, this varies by manufacturer, and it can be a bit confusing, so do a bit of research to figure out what you’re looking at. is another great resource, as it allows you to estimate the age of an HVAC unit based on its brand and serial number.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Once you know how old your AC is, it’s time to figure out its expected lifespan.

On average, a central air conditioner will last anywhere from 10-15 years. Window units will last 5-15 years, and split units can last 15-20 years. If your system is creeping toward the tail end of that timeline, you may want to start considering a replacement.

This depends, of course, on the condition of your AC. Air conditioners degrade with use, meaning that a system used less often may last longer than similar systems. Your heating and cooling maintenance also plays a role, as a clean and well-maintained unit will experience fewer breakdowns and repairs.

However, keep in mind that a newer AC may still save you more money than your current model.

As they age, AC systems get less and less efficient. They consume more energy while costing more on your utility bills. Newer models, by contrast, have advanced technology that enhances energy efficiency.

In some cases, you may spend a fortune cooling your home with an aging AC when an upgrade could help you save!

When Should I Replace My AC?

We get it: even with the right financing, an air conditioner is likely the most expensive household appliance you’ll ever buy. Taking the plunge to shell out for an upgrade can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t yet sure you need a new model. How can you tell when replacing your AC is a must?

Frequent Repairs

If you’re frantically searching “AC repair near me” every few weeks, it may be time to move on. Frequent repairs affect your household’s comfort, disrupt your schedule, and even impact your health during a hot Indiana summer. Don’t accept these repairs as the norm!

High Repair Costs

Whether you’re worried about an air conditioner leaking/an AC pan leaking, a short-cycling unit, or a thermostat that won’t connect, the cost of repairs can get expensive fast. How do you know when you should put those rising costs toward a new unit instead?

Use the $5,000 rule as a guideline. If you’ve gotten an AC repair free estimate, multiply it by the age of your air conditioner. If the total is over $5,000, replacing the unit is the smarter move.

Rising Utility Bills

Repairs aren’t the only things to worry about. If your utility bills have spiked as well, you might be spending far more than you need to, especially with inflation and rising fuel costs.

Ended Warranty

Most warranties last 5, 10, or 15 years, depending on the type of AC you own. If you’re reaching the end of that warranty, buying a new model can get you coverage again. This can be especially important if you want to stop paying out of pocket for so many repairs!

Cooling and Humidity Issues

If your system struggles to cool your home or regulate the humidity, even after an AC and heating tune-up, move on. An aging unit can’t support your comfort as well as a new system, so optimize your indoor environment with an upgrade.

Additional Factors to Consider

Beyond the current state of your AC, there are a few other factors to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

Do you plan to live in this property for a while? If you’ll be in your home for at least the next several years, upgrading your AC can enhance your comfort. It can even increase the value of your home by up to 60% when you do decide to sell.

Is your air conditioner an eyesore? Older units and rusted or corroded systems can detract from your property’s curb appeal. Newer models are often sleeker, less bulky, and more attractive.

Can you get a federal tax credit? Through 2032, switching to certain energy-efficient AC models can help you save up to $3,200 a year.

Improved Comfort, Indoor Air Quality, and More

If you discover that your system could be called “vintage” according to its HVAC age, replacing it with a newer model is a smart move. Modern AC units can enhance your home’s indoor air quality, lower your repair and utility bills, and keep you comfortable indoors for years to come.

Instead of searching for “heating and cooling near me” to find a reputable AC company, make sure to partner with us! At Stay Comfy HVAC, our NATE-certified technicians offer free estimates and labor guarantees of up to ten years for Noblesville area customers. Whether you want to protect your investment with regular maintenance or install a new system to replace your current model, contact us today!