6 Signs You Can’t Ignore When It’s Time to Upgrade Your AC System

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When Should You Replace Your AC System?

by James K. Kim

How do you know if it’s time to replace and upgrade your home’s central air conditioning (AC) system?

Since the right preparation steps are important for upgrading your AC system, it is vital to know the signs that you need a new cooling unit.

Here are six signs it’s time to upgrade your home or business central AC system.

1. Increasing energy utility bills

It is normal to see a higher energy utility bill in the warmer seasons as your AC system will be running for longer to cool the space.

However, it is a red flag if you see a massive variance from the previous energy bills paid in the same time period from previous years.

If your utility bills are consistently rising year after year, this is a sign your AC system is working overtime (for decreased output) and needs an upgrade to a new, more energy-efficient model.

2. You are spending a lot of money on AC system repairs

Are you on a first-name basis when calling your local HVAC company, as you often require their air conditioning repair services?

This is an obvious sign you are overspending on frequent AC system repairs and throwing good money after bad money. These are easily avoidable costs if you upgrade AC system.

You may experience some sticker shock at the initial cost of replacing your AC system (especially if you have not explored replacement options in a while), but your investment will pay off over the years through repair and energy bill savings.

An upgraded new AC system will guarantee comfort and reliability with air conditioning for your space when you need it most on those truly unbearable hot and humid summer days.

3. You experience uneven indoor temperatures

It can be frustrating for homeowners and other family members when a home has “hot” and “cold” spots due to an outdated and unbalanced AC system that simply can’t keep up with regulating indoor temperatures.

In these instances, a wise choice for a more comfortable home is investing in a modern upgraded AC system with improved cooling capabilities.

4. Your AC system is over 10+ years old

Nothing lasts forever, and AC systems are no different. If your AC system has been in service for over a decade, it is time to start planning on upgrading it.

Typically, after the 10-year mark, your AC system will have less efficiency and decreased performance compared to newer similar models in the market.

Maintaining aged AC systems becomes expensive as major components begin to break and require changeout, or the entire system itself will start breaking down more frequently and you experience more and more “no cool” headaches (usually on the hottest summer day of the year).

5. You hear unusual noises from your AC system

A properly functioning AC system should produce a quiet, consistent hum from its mechanical components and airflow through vents.

If you hear unusual noises coming from any indoor or outdoor component, this is a strong indication of a larger underlying issue.

There could be any number of sources of strange noises from your air condition system, which is why you should call on local HVAC experts like Cottam Heating and Air Conditioning to professionally diagnose the noise issue and make a recommendation regarding an AC upgrade.

6. You smell unpleasant odors from the AC system

Strange and often unpleasant smells and odors are another common indication of an internal problem with your AC system. Aged AC system issues such as refrigerant leaks or excess moisture inside the unit, can lead to organic growths your nose will detect instantly.

If a new smell occurs every time you turn on your AC system, a professional service call and options for a replacement air conditioner could be the solution.


One of the largest and vital investments you can ever make in your home or business is upgrading your AC system. Indoor climate control plays a primary role in determining overall comfort, health, and quality of life.

Contact Cottam Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free consultation on upgrading your AC system and start enjoying the benefits of cooling, healthier fresh air and better indoor temperatures all summer long.

James K. Kim is a comfort consultant with Cottam Heating and Air Conditioning. He has over 5+ years of experience working in the HVAC industry, and specializes in helping home and business owners maintain ideal room temperatures and improve their indoor air quality. In his free time, Jim plays on two mens league ice hockey teams and two mens league baseball teams.

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