Common Problems with Older Air Conditioners

older air conditioner

Since the development of the first air conditioning unit, modern systems have evolved into high quality, efficient pieces of equipment. However, like all other sizable home appliances, they age and can experience an array of problems. This outline provides information on some common problems that can occur with an older air conditioner.

Problem: Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant—also known as Freon—is a chemical that cools the air within your air conditioning unit. If your system frequently needs refrigerant, 90% of the time that suggests that there is a leak. Not only does a leak cause poor performance and efficiency, it is also hazardous to the environment.

Problem: Electric Failure

Older HVAC systems have a higher likelihood of shorting out. One common result of this is the air conditioning quitting in the hot Florida summers or even worse, it can cause an electrical fire. A good rule of thumb is that you should consider replacing any system that is at least 10-12 years old.

Problem: Air Quality

An older air conditioner needs to be cleaned, a lot! The older the system is, the more it needs to be cleaned to fight against mold or mildew. Mold and mildew can travel through the air stream and into your home causing respiratory issues. Not only does mold and mildew have negative effects on people living inside the home, but it causes oil to leak onto plants and grass outside the home as well.


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Problem: Leakage and Overflows

Florida is known for being hot and humid. With it being so humid outside, condensation will build, lots of it. Many older air conditioners have condensate drains that can become clogged. When the condensate drain is blocked, it overflows into an overflow pan. However, if the overflow pan is cracked, missing, or has a hole in it, water leakage will occur. Condensate leakage can cause the system to shut down and property damage that is complex and expensive.


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Problem: Sensor

Many homes have a thermostat sensor that is located behind the control panel. With an older air conditioner, the sensor can knock out of position. The result of this can cause the air conditioner to cycle constantly or behave in other odd ways.

5,000 RULE

A good rule to remember to avoid running into these common problems is the 5,000 rule.

The 5,000 rule states, “multiply the age of the equipment by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then replace the unit.”

Is It Time To Replace Your Older Air Conditioner?

If you are currently experiencing some of these problems with your system, it might be time to contact a professional for assistance. You can also click here to find out about our installation process.

Your system is important to us. Contact Gator Air & Energy for more information or to schedule your next maintenance appointment.

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