BBB offers tips on when to replace your AC - WFSB 3 Connecticut

BBB offers tips on when to replace your AC

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Residents across the state are paying a price for staying cool. (WFSB) Residents across the state are paying a price for staying cool. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

If your air conditioner didn't deliver, the Connecticut Better Business Bureau is putting out a checklist to help you figure out whether it is time to replace it. 

BBB officials said start with your unit's age, the average lifespan of a central air conditioning system is between 15 and 20 years.

Other signs you may need to replace your unit include the following:

  • Thermostat problems
  • Poor air flow
  • Substandard performance
  • Strange sounds
  • Strange odors 

If you are thinking about replacing your unit, BBB officials recommend getting estimates from three different companies. They also recommended the following items: 

  • Don't go for the lowest price - A low price does not always equal the best value.  A higher efficiency system might cost an extra $800 up front, but could save you $300 per year in energy costs. Don't forget to ask whether there are any available manufacturer's rebates.
  • Consider a maintenance contract - This can come in handy when a system needs repairs at the worst times-like during the recent heat wave.
  • Get a programmable thermostat - Most consumers who have them don't use them. A programmable thermostat can help you save even more money than having the unit on all day long. 
  • Temporary fix with window units - This may buy you some time until it is convenient to have the major work done. If health and safety are an immediate concern, buy a few window units
  • Check your furnace too - The AC and furnace may have been installed together. Have it evaluated by the expert, and obtain several estimates before signing a contract.

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