Cooling your home is essential to ensure it is comfortable to live in, especially during the hot summer months. For this reason, a central air conditioning (AC) unit is typically installed to achieve this. Central AC units are notable for their ability to cool large spaces quickly and efficiently by circulating cooled air throughout the home. However, a central AC unit is the same as any other technology because it can still experience problems.

A central AC unit performs through several interconnected systems, including a compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve. These components alone take a lot out of the unit, and it will come to a point where it will break. While routine maintenance and repairs are done to prevent this, there are times when it is better to replace it. However, the tricky part is figuring out when to do so.

To help you know when to replace your central AC unit, here are some signs to look out for:

#1 – Insufficient Cooling

One of the most obvious signs that you must replace your central AC unit is if it is no longer providing sufficient cooling. If your AC unit is running but not cooling your home as it should, it’s likely due to a problem with the compressor, condenser, or other components. If the issue is not easily fixed, it may be time to replace the unit.

Additionally, if your AC unit is constantly running but not cooling your home, this is another sign that it’s time for a replacement. This is because the unit cannot maintain the desired temperature, meaning it is not running efficiently.

#2 – Odd Noises

Another sign that your central AC unit needs to be replaced is if it is making odd noises. If you hear squealing, banging, or grinding noises from your AC unit, it could be a sign that something is wrong. A broken or loose fan belt, a failing compressor, or the motor could cause these noises. If you hear any of these noises, it’s best to have a technician come and take a look to see what the issue is and if a replacement is necessary.

You should also pay attention to any rattling noises coming from the unit. This could be due to loose screws, nuts, or a broken fan blade, which could signify a more severe problem and should be addressed immediately.

#3 – Presence of Dust

The presence of dust in and around your central AC unit could be a sign that it needs to be replaced. Dust can accumulate in the air ducts, filters, and blower motor. If the dust levels are high, it can cause the air conditioning system to be less effective and efficient. This can lead to a decrease in the overall air quality in your home.

You must act fast if you notice dust accumulating in and around your AC unit. You should clean the unit and replace the filters if needed, though you may also need to have a technician come out and inspect the unit to determine if a replacement is necessary.

#4 – Age

The age of your central AC unit is an essential factor to consider when determining whether or not it needs to be replaced. The average lifespan of a central AC unit is 15-20 years, so if your unit is older, it may be time to start shopping for a new one.

When shopping for a new AC unit, you should consider the size of your home, the type of unit you want, and the energy efficiency rating. You must also look for a unit with a good warranty, as this will help protect you from costly repairs.

#5 – Rising AC Bills

Energy bills do not come cheap, and rising AC bills could signify that it is time for an upgrade. Replacing your unit with a newer, more energy-efficient model could help reduce your energy bills and save you money in the long run.

You should also regularly check your AC filter and replace it when necessary, as a dirty filter can cause your unit to work harder and use more energy.


A central AC unit can effectively cool your home, but it can only work until it must be replaced. While finding the best central AC unit will be tricky, the investment is worth it in the long run. All that matters is researching and choosing the best unit that suits your home’s needs.

Thompson Heating & Cooling provides top-quality services for air conditioner repair in Louisville, KY. Our professional heating and cooling technicians will ensure your units work flawlessly for affordable prices. Call us today at (502) 398-2896 to schedule a service appointment!

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