Even the highest quality devices can stop functioning at a certain point. So how do you know when to replace your AC unit? Is it a maintenance question, or is it time to say goodbye? We made a selection of the most obvious signs your air conditioner needs to be replaced, so if you're asking yourself whether you should repair or replace the AC unit, stay with us!


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Warning: please don't try to fix any electric device yourself. You risk getting an injury and entirely damaging your device. Only a certified professional can identify and fix the problem in your air conditioner, advise when to replace the air conditioner, and establish the final ac unit replacement cost.

1. Your portable air conditioner is more than ten years old.

The average life expectancy of a portable air conditioner is 5 to 10 years old. Unfortunately, a warranty no longer covers your device past a certain age. Often, older models are upgraded over time, and their details are no longer in production. Other older models also use dangerous freon liquids, which are straight-up poison.

If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, it is time to start looking into more recent cooling appliances. The air conditioner's age is one of the main criteria for replacing the air conditioner.

2. Your energy bills are out of the ordinary

If you haven't added any energy-consuming devices to your household and your bills go up, it is time to check if your air conditioner is acting out. Unusual expenses on electricity are often the result of overheating and excessive energy waste. In addition, the electricity consumption depends on the age of your air conditioner and its quality – lower-quality devices tend to start overheating faster. Thus, you can see that your air conditioner isn't working efficiently.

If you start asking: "When should I replace my air conditioner?" — one of the answers is: "As soon as it starts costing more than it used to".

3. Your device is not cooling the space anymore

It is definitely time to replace your air conditioning unit if it is no longer cooling. It can be due to a faulty wire, clogged filters and evaporator coils, dry filters, or other reasons. Don't try to fix the device yourself. You can either hurt yourself or make the problem even worse.

Another reason you may want to replace the AC unit is that even though the device is still cooling, the cooling power is no longer appropriate for where it used to be ok. It means that something has changed in the functioning of your air conditioner, and it is time to look into it.

4. Your air conditioner is producing unusual noise

Any clicking, grinding, squealing, or buzzing is a clear indicator that your air conditioner is malfunctioning. It means that the AC is either not working correctly, that a moving detail is faulty or that there is an electrical problem. So, this is another signal that your air conditioner needs to be replaced.

5. The battery in your portable AC runs low faster than usual

If you own a portable air conditioner with an independent battery, and the battery runs low faster than it used to, it can be an indicator of a bigger problem. A specialist will tell you whether just the battery needs repair or replacement or if it's the whole system that is causing the AC to drain the battery too fast. In this case, consider whether you need portable air conditioner repair or replacement.


6. The filter is blocked despite good maintenance

If the AC filters are permanently blocked, the device is malfunctioning. It can be due to the misadjusted airflow, faulty exhaust pipes, and many other reasons. Time to look into your device, especially if you live in a place where there's little dust that could block the filters.

7. Your AC uses R-22 Freon

For decades, the R-22 Freon has been the main cooling product in air conditioners. However, times have changed. In January 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned both the production and import of R-22. So if you got your AC before January 2010, there are chances it is using the R-22 Freon. You can check it out on the label or double-check with a technician to make sure.

Due to the restrictions on the use of R-22, your AC may either need an upgrade or a complete replacement.

Even if your device is still working correctly, you may want to replace your air conditioner in the following situations:

1. You want an eco-friendlier device

Older air conditioners are often less eco-friendly than their younger brothers. You may want to change your AC for a greener device with less environmental impact and more efficient energy consumption.

2. You are planning to move

Sizing your air conditioner correctly is crucial to its proper functioning. For example, if you are planning to move and the size of the space you want to cool changes significantly, it can be time to choose a new device and adjust it to the measurements of your future home.

3. Change in humidity levels

Air conditioners can impact the humidity levels around you. For example, suppose your device also works as a dehumidifier, and you are moving to an arid area. In that case, you may want to look into devices that cool and humidify the air simultaneously. For example, evaporative air coolers do a great job by cooling the air around you and adding just the right amount of moisture into the air.

How much does it cost to replace my air conditioner?

The final price of the AC installation will depend on the type of the air conditioner, your needs, the size of your home, and where you live. You should also consider how much it costs to run an air conditioner.

In the US, the air conditioner replacement cost in 2022 is between $4,000-$12,000.

In Australia, the air conditioner installation price ranges between $600 and $5,000 and may even reach $9,000 to $20,000 for big homes.

Are you waiting for your new AC to arrive? Here is how you can keep cool in the meantime.

Installing a new air conditioner can be a lengthy and costly process. However, if you need to take time to pick and size the suitable model and put some money aside for the installation, you can still keep cool!

Evaporative air coolers by Evapolar are an excellent solution to keep you cool while you are in the process of choosing a new AC device. They use the most natural cooling method – evaporation, and they run on water so that you can forget about the dangerous ozone-depleting liquids like R-22!

Forget about the installation fees! Simply plug in the Evapolar air cooler and enjoy the fresh air. Nothing is simpler than an air cooler to help you chill during warm days.

Don't worry about the electricity bill either. An evaporative air cooler uses 100 times less electricity than an air-con. So we understand if, in the end, you'll decide to simply stick with an air cooler instead of installing an AC!

Your Evapolar will come in handy even when you proceed with the ac installation. You can use both AC and an evaporative air cooler in the same house.

People also ask (FAQ) :

1. What is the best time to replace my AC unit?

During colder months of the year, the ac installation prices are generally lower, and you also don't have to suffer through the warm months without the ac. However, if you decide to replace it in the summer, you can always help yourself stay cool with an evaporative air cooler.

2. How do I know when to replace the HVAC system?

A HVAC system is more complicated than an AC since it usually serves the whole house. Therefore, one faulty part can cause malfunctioning in the entire system. However, the signs of such malfunctioning are similar to those of an AC: no cooling, weird noises, smells, high electricity bills, etc.

3. How long does an AC last on average?

7-10 years.

4. What if my AC is more than ten years old but still working?

If your AC is 10+ years old, there are chances it is using R-22 freon, which is now forbidden to implement in new devices. You can use it in the old models; however, the maintenance cost of R-22 devices has skyrocketed until the prohibition. Not to mention that it's a very toxic liquid that causes ozone depletion.

If your device doesn't use the R-22 freon, is working, and is over ten years old, we simply recommend keeping a better eye on it and paying more attention to maintenance.

5. Can I use an air conditioner and a swamp cooler in the same house?

Yes, absolutely! It is often recommended to use them both in the same household, especially if you live with people who have different temperature preferences and move a lot in between the rooms in your house. Check out this article for more advice.