When do I know it’s time to replace my system?
When the system starts giving you more problems than seem cost-effective to fix, particularly when major components such as the compressor start making unusual noises or otherwise indicating need for a service call. When faced with major repairs, consult several contractors for their recommendations. You may find that replacing the entire unit may give you greater efficiency and lower your operating costs.
See our Energy Savings/Efficiency Calculator.
Which is better – letting a central cooling system wear out before replacing it, or replacing it at some point before it wears out?
Because newer equipment usually is more energy efficient than older central air conditioning or heat pump systems, you might actually save money by replacing your old system before it completely wears out. Contact local contractors and ask for their estimates. In some cases, the money you save in reduced utility costs might pay back your purchase price of a new system years earlier than you might think.