In Dubai and various parts of the UAE (and all other desert countries), residents have found ways of living with the heat. For people who can afford one, an air conditioning unit or an AC is a godsend as it makes living in arid regions more tolerable.
But like other types of machines, air conditioners do break down over time. When this happens, should you attempt to get it repaired or buy a new one right away? Here are a few factors to consider when mulling over your options.
1. Age of the unit
The development of technology makes it possible for more energy and cost-efficient machines to be made available on the market. Heaters and air conditioning units are no exception.
Experts advise buying a new unit if your current one is older than 15 years. Buying and having the AC unit installed in the UAE (or in the country where you live) may cost more than having it repaired but it can equate to more savings in the long run.
With a more energy-efficient model, you can cool the same space much quicker. The lower power requirement will allow you to save more on your power bills as well.
2. Air flow quality
Check the air coming out of the unit a few minutes after turning it on. If the air does not feel cold, there could be something wrong inside.
There are several potential reasons why your AC might not be producing cold air. The fan or fan motor may not be running properly, the air filter could be clogged, or there could be issues with the electronic control board among others.
Repair costs can vary depending on the issue. Think of the repair costs before buying a new unit.
3. Current electricity bills
Ideally, you should have your air conditioning units inspected and maintained on a regular basis. By doing so, you are ensuring that your cooling units run at an optimal level for a longer period of time. This also allows the technician to see potential issues and make repairs before any problem becomes worse.
Go through your power bills for the last few months. Have you been steadily paying more, or has there been a significant jump?
There are several reasons why your power bills have been rising. Perhaps it’s the summer and you have been running the AC far longer than usual. You could have the wrong type of windows installed and your AC has to work harder to compensate. In such a situation, you may need to consider replacing your windows to more energy-efficient models instead of replacing your AC.
If there is no other plausible explanation for the rise in your power bills, consider having your system checked out and repaired. You may need to consider buying a new AC model if the cost of repair is no longer practical.
4. Leaking fluids
All air conditioners will produce a bit of moisture. However, if the unit is producing an excessive amount of moisture, it may be time to save up for a new appliance instead.
Excessive moisture is an indication of a refrigerant leak. The leak can make it harder for your AC to work well. Furthermore, mold can grow around the area of the water buildup.
Consult a technician if there is water pooling at the base of the AC. To be safe in this case, it would be wiser to have your AC replaced instead of repaired.
5. Strange noises or smells
An AC that is running at optimal levels blows out clean air, and the sound of a running AC is barely detectable.
If you notice burning smells, squeaking or grinding noises, your AC may be due for an upgrade. These are potential indicators of major issues inside the unit.
Have your system checked out by a reputable technician in your area if issues start to arise. Based on the severity of the issue, your AC technician will suggest whether it would be better to have your unit repaired or replaced altogether.
Be on the lookout for signs of AC trouble
Indeed, having an AC unit running in the best condition is wonderfully reassuring especially when the heat and humidity set in. This is why it is important for you not to ignore any signs that your unit may be due for maintenance, repair or replacement.
Erum Rizvi is co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at a new startup venture, FixonClick, which is a web- and mobile-based online portal for services and customers. Born and raised in the UAE, Erum as a tech devotee has more than 13 years of experience in leading strategic wins in Business Management and Channel Development in the UAE with MNCs like Cisco, Microsoft, and Techdata.