There is more information to keep in mind when it comes to air conditioners. They do not last forever, especially if they are used at full capacity or improperly. As your air conditioner gets older, you should monitor it more closely and discover problems that may occur over time.
General wear and tear
Regular maintenance of the AC system will help you add a few years to its life span, and avoid unnecessary HVAC repair. But after >10 years of use, chances are it won’t work as well and will likely take longer to heat and/ or cool the house. In addition, the effects of adverse weather events and chemicals in the air (salt, sulfur etc.) will contribute to the overall wear and tear.
Your air conditioner may be working at lower efficiently than a new appliance, because the components have been worn out or damaged over time (whether it’s about fans, radiators, or compressors). Any of these problems will cause your appliance to work less efficiently and will affect the cooling/ heating mode, which will lead to higher energy bills.
Ice or dust deposits on the radiator
There are cases in which ice can accumulate on certain parts of the air conditioning unit. This may be caused by a dirty air filter, which partially obstructs the air circulation around the radiator. However, if you notice ice deposits on the vaporizer, it could mean that you have a more serious problem, such as a broken fan, a refrigerant leak or a faulty condenser.
If the air conditioner loses refrigerant, you may have a leak. Adding refrigerant to complete the level will not actually solve the problem. Beyond the impact on the performance of your appliance, refrigerant leaks are also harmful to the environment. If the leak occurs in the refrigeration line, the troubleshooting is quite easy, but if it is in the air conditioning compressor, it would be better to invest in a new HVAC system.
As your air conditioner gets older, the chances of shortening its lifespan increase. Some common electrical problems include capacitors that do not work properly anymore, relays that have been closed tightly, or frequently tripped circuit breakers. Faulty wiring may also contribute to electrical failure, or, worse, to a fire in the air conditioning unit. Additionally, if your HVAC system is not maintained regularly and is overloaded due to high temperatures, it may also malfunction.
A typical air conditioner, for example, has two fans – one that blows air from inside the home over the evaporator radiator to cool it, and another one that blows air over the condenser of the outdoor unit, which has the purpose to discharge the absorbed heat outside the house. There are different reasons why fans may stop working properly, including damaged engines, worn belts, lack of lubrication dirt and excessive debris. Regardless of the problem, the result may consist in restricted airflow, which may eventually lead to damage to the air conditioner compressor, if ignored for too long. If the compressor stops working, you may need a new HVAC system.