It's not unusual to see households running air conditioning systems that are 20, 30, or even 40 years old. While the commonly accepted lifespan of a typical air conditioning unit is roughly 10 years, not every household replaces their cooling system once it reaches this milestone. As a result, these households are vulnerable to a wide range of cooling problems that are usually the result of an aging air conditioner.

If you're one of the many families still holding onto their aging air conditioners, you'll want to see these five reasons why it's better to let go of your old unit.

AC Performance Can Decline With Age
From the moment it's turned on for the first time, your air conditioner undergoes cumulative wear and tear throughout its life. As various AC components wear down through constant use and natural aging, the wear and tear experienced by your air conditioner can lead to a steady decline in cooling performance.

As your air conditioner ages, you might notice it taking longer to properly cool your home on moderately hot days and it may even struggle to keep your home cool during periods of intense summer heat. If this is happening to your system, then you should consider replacing it as soon as you can.

Old Age Can Also Mean Sudden Breakdowns
Sluggish performance isn't the only problem your air conditioner can face as it ages. Sudden, unexpected breakdowns may also become more common, especially if you've haven't been on top of your air conditioning maintenance. Each aging component inside of your air conditioner pushes your system closer towards the brink of failure, increasing the possibility of a sudden breakdown.

When it comes down to it, holding on to your old air conditioner means taking a roll of the dice. It could hold up for the next year or so with few problems, if any, or it could suddenly break down in the middle of an exceptionally hot summer day. A complete AC replacement may be your only option if you don't want to gamble with your home comfort this summer.

The Repairs Could Cost More Than a Brand-New Unit
There's also the potential sticker shock that often comes with maintaining an older air conditioner. According to a 2017 HomeAdvisor report, most homeowners shell out anywhere between $164 and $506 on air conditioner repairs. Patching up an older AC system that's well beyond its projected service life could easily tack on hundreds of dollars to your final repair bill.

There are plenty of factors that could send your initial repair bill soaring. For starters, your AC unit may need parts that are relatively hard to find or no longer in production, requiring custom-built parts or parts that are as similar to the original as possible. Older AC systems may also require more labor to diagnose and repair than newer systems. Multiple components can also fail at once, requiring additional parts and labor.

If the cost of keeping your air conditioner on life support exceeds the cost of a newer and more reliable model, then you'll know it's time to replace your AC system.

Newer Air Conditioners Consume Electricity More Efficiently
What seemed state of the art 15 or 20 years ago can seem rather antiquated in the face of today's modern technology. Older air conditioners often suffer from this problem since they were built to the standards of the previous era. Although they may have been energy efficient back then, that usually pales in comparison to the energy efficiency of newer and more modern air conditioners.

Advances in air conditioning technology have helped the latest models become more energy efficient than before. From ozone-friendly refrigerants to variable-speed motors in blower fans and improvements in compressor designs, these advances often leave older AC units at a significant disadvantage when it comes to saving energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing your current air conditioner with a newer and more energy-efficient model could help you save 20 to 40 percent on your home's cooling costs, even if your current AC system is just 10 years old.

You'll Have Better Peace of Mind
Ever spend the night wondering if tomorrow will be the day your air conditioner finally conks out? That feeling of anticipation and dread can become all consuming, getting in the way of your daily routine while leaving you on edge about the inevitable breakdown. Replacing your old air conditioner with a newer model gives you greater peace of mind about your home's cooling comfort.

Waiting for your old air conditioner to give up the ghost could take a big bite out of your savings and leave your home in a sweltering state for the next few days. If your AC system is ready for its grand exit, give C.B. Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning a call and let our seasoned HVAC technicians professionally install your new air conditioning system.