It’s that time once again—the outside air is warming, and summer is just around the corner. In the Granite State, that means plenty of hiking and outdoor activities. But there’s nothing like the refreshing relief of stepping inside a cool and comfortable home after spending hours in the sun. So before we get to those scorching temperatures, here are some signs to look for that might mean your window air conditioner needs replacing.
1. Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
According to ENERGY STAR®, the average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is 10–15 years, but you should consider upgrading at 10 years. Things that impact the lifespan of a window air conditioner include the air quality where you live, the settings you use on your unit, how big the space is that it cools and how often you clean the filter. But even with the best care, a 10+ year-old air conditioner is likely near its replacement date. Your NHSaves® utility partners offer annual events to recycle your inefficient air-conditioning units, as well as rebates when you purchase an ENERGY STAR certified new unit.
2. Your energy use has increased significantly.
Up to 50% of your home’s energy usage is a result of heating and cooling. This makes sense when you consider that a medium-sized window unit uses 900 watts of electricity per hour, a portable unit uses 2,900 watts per hour and a central air conditioner uses up to 3,500 watts per hour (source: American Home Water & Air). If you notice your monthly energy consumption continues to climb, it may be time to consider a replacement.
3. Your window air-conditioning unit is giving off some strange smells.
Ideally, your air conditioner should be odorless. If you detect foul smells emanating from the unit while it is running, there may be an underlying issue. These odors can range from smoky scents, which may indicate a wiring problem, to musty odors, suggesting the presence of mold or mildew buildup.
Both mold/mildew and wiring problems pose risks to your health and safety. Mold and mildew can have adverse effects on your well-being, while faulty wiring can potentially lead to a fire hazard.
4. Your air-conditioning unit is making loud or unusual noises.
We’ve all been there—we hear a noise coming from an appliance and panic. A noise coming from your air-conditioning unit is not always a cause for concern, but if a noise persists or gets worse and you can’t troubleshoot it, you may want to look into newer, more energy-efficient models.
Whether you need an upgrade or just need to perform routine maintenance, make sure you take care of it before the hot days really start so you can fully enjoy summer in the Granite State!
Bonus tip from your NHSaves utility partners: If the time has come to replace your air conditioner, consider alternative options to cooling your home, like installing a high-efficiency heat pump. Heat pumps can efficiently heat your home in the winter and double as a cooling system in the summer—all while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.