Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential if you want to prolong the life of your air conditioner (AC) and you want to if it’s summer and dramacool wants you to binge-watch your favorite show. Sure, there are some DIY (do-it-yourself) steps to keep your AC unit in top condition. However, you will need the help of professional technicians for more thorough upkeep. Also, always remember that despite your best efforts, you ought to accept that this home appliance can’t last forever.

If your unit has reached ten years or more, you should be on the lookout for the top five signs your air conditioner is near the end of its life cycle:

1. Drastic Increase In Electricity Bills

If you note that your air conditioning system causes a drastic rise in your energy bills, you should consider buying a new unit. The spike in energy consumption typically means your air conditioning system is working double-time to achieve the temperature you’ve set. Cleaning the filters and air vents may help improve the efficiency of your AC for a while. But if the underlying problem is a damaged compressor, then no amount of cleaning or filter change will help.

An air conditioning system could be expensive. So, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, consider buying a PTAC or packaged terminal air conditioner. Since this type of AC is ductless, you can install the unit directly through a wall. Although you can typically find PTAC units in hotels, apartment buildings, and offices, you can install one for your home or apartment.

If your air conditioner is always giving you problems or is outdated, it’s best to replace it. While the repair cost is lower, frequent repairs can be costly in the long run, alongside the high electricity bills. Thus, choose an excellent quality replacement AC unit with safety and energy-efficient features to help you save energy and money.

2. Excess Leak Or Moisture

A small amount of moisture or leak on the outer part of your air conditioner should not cause alarm because wetness results from condensation. However, if you notice the unit leaking inside your home, or producing excessive moisture, there can be severe trouble in the cooling system.

Cleaning your unit, checking the filter, and unclogging blocked pipes are steps you can do to troubleshoot air conditioner water leaks. But suppose, after following these steps, you continue to experience excessive leaks and moisture. In that case, you might have a problem with your refrigerant, or even with the AC’s electrical components. If the cost of replacing parts and frequent refilling of refrigerant becomes excessive, it makes more sense to replace the unit than have it fixed.

3. Strange Noises And Unusual Odor

If you have been using your cooling system for months or years now, you’d have been aware of the slight sounds it produces when it cycles. Usually, such sounds shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However, if you hear rattling or screeching sounds, or weird noises from the unit, there might be something wrong with it.

If there’s an unusual smell from your AC system, it might be a sign the unit no longer functions at its best. A foul odor can indicate duct problems, or molds and mildew clogging the pipe. The smell in the exhaust can mean you have a refrigerant leak.

You can get rid of these odors quickly by cleaning the unit, or addressing the refrigerant problem. However, if the stench persists, or there’s a gunmetal or burning smell, turn off your AC immediately. These odors are good indicators the unit needs replacing.

Hire a qualified HVAC professional to inspect your AC when you observe odd smells for safety. While you can perform a visual inspection, never attempt to repair your AC if you’re unsure what to do. You might not have the right tools to use, unlike HVAC technicians.

4. Failure To Blow Cold Or Hot Air

If your air-cooling system isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, then it’s a surefire indication there’s something wrong with your unit. So, even if you feel hot or cool air but the temperature doesn’t reach the level you’ve set, then you should consider calling a technician immediately. The unit might have busted capacitors, which you can easily replace.

Always remember, if you continue using your air conditioner even if it’s already malfunctioning, you may risk exacerbating the problem. Before you know it, damaged capacitors may lead to more troubles, such as a damaged compressor.

Don’t risk your life and your property. Stop using a malfunctioning air conditioning unit. So, consider a failure to blow cold or hot air a telltale sign. Otherwise, there’s a huge risk of a house fire or family member sickness because of a respiratory problem associated with dirty AC. Just imagine how this simple problem could lead to medical issues and repair and replacement costs.

In addition, call a local air conditioning and heating service company to help you. Only a licensed HVAC specialist can properly inspect your air conditioning units using advanced tools and techniques. Learn more about HVAC maintenance and repair at

5. Frequent Short Cycling

Short cycling means your air conditioning unit is having difficulty in achieving its complete cooling cycle. Some symptoms of short cycling include frequent on-and-off switching, irregular cycles, or problems when starting the unit up. If you notice these issues, turn your unit off and have it checked by a technician as soon as possible. A blown fuse may be responsible for your unit’s troubles.

Short cycling can put additional stress on your AC system. So, what might start as busted circuits can end up in a damaged compressor if you continue using your AC despite the issues. If a problematic compressor causes short cycling, it makes more sense to buy a new unit because compressors can be expensive.

Final Thoughts

Buying a new air conditioning unit is expensive. However, if your AC is already old, needs frequent repairs, and you detect any of the five problems listed above, it can be a sign you need to replace your unit soon.