Best time to replace central air conditioner

The best time to replace your central air conditioning unit will depend on what your reason is for replacing the unit and other considerations.

Central air conditioning can be expensive to install but is worth it if you have a large space and you need consistent cooling.

However, central air conditioners need to be replaced eventually and the best time to do this will depend on the age of the unit, your patience, and the other components in your HVAC system.

When to install central air conditioning

It can be difficult to determine whether the sizable initial investment of installing a central air conditioning system is worth it for your home. However, you should also consider the benefits that central air conditioning holds, such as consistent cooling and lower electricity bills in the long term.

Thus, you should install central air conditioning if you live in an area where it is always hot or if you have a larger space that you want to keep consistently cool throughout the day.

Best time to replace central air conditioner

Since the initial investment of buying central air conditioning units can be so substantial, you will want to stretch the amount of time you have before you replace your central air conditioner for as long as possible. Unfortunately, all central air conditioners need to be replaced eventually.

There is no singular best time to replace your air conditioner and the best time will be individual to your air conditioner and your needs.

The reason why you need to replace your central air conditioner has a lot to do with when the best time is to replace the system, as explained in the below table:

Reasons for replacing your central air conditioner Description
Your air conditioner is old or broken If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, has old-fashioned refrigerant, or is continually breaking down, you need to replace it sooner rather than later
It is the (cold) off-season It is best to replace your air conditioner during the off-season, as this will be less expensive if you can wait a few months
You are replacing other parts of your HVAC system A mismatched HVAC system can be detrimental to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit’s components, and you should replace your air conditioner at the same time if you are upgrading the furnace or heat pump

Taking these different reasons into account can help you decide when it is the best time to replace your central air conditioner.

Best time to replace your central air conditioner if it is old or broken

You should only consider replacing your central air conditioner if it is already older than 10 years and if it is giving you constant issues and trouble.

If your central air conditioner has been installed for less than 10 years, most of its components will still be under warranty and, in this case, it will make better financial sense to service and replace the faulty components rather than the air conditioner itself.

However, if your air conditioner is so old that it still uses outdated technology, such as R-22 Freon refrigerant, which can damage the environment and is not energy-efficient, or the replacement parts for your unit are no longer being manufactured, then you need to replace your central air conditioner sooner rather than later to avoid it costing you more money than it should.

The best time to replace your central air conditioner in terms of off-seasons

If you can wait a few months, it is usually more cost-effective to replace your air conditioner during the off-season, which stretches from the end of September to the middle of November, and then again from early March to the middle of May.

This is because of the lower purchasing cost of air conditioners in this time because of the lower demand and the quicker turnaround time.

This is why the off-season is the best time to replace your central air conditioning system if you have the patience and capability to wait for this time of year.

Replacing your central air conditioner when you replace other components of your HVAC system

When you only replace one of the components in your HVAC system, this can result in what is known as a mismatched system.

This is why sometimes, if you are replacing the heat pump or furnace of your HVAC system anyway and your central air conditioner is on the older side, it would be the best time to also replace the air conditioner.

This will ensure that all of the unit’s components have modern technologies and that the energy efficiency of all of the components in your system are compatible with each other.

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