I live in northern Florida, and my central air conditioner is 12 years old. I had a repairman out today to repair the a/c as it was leaking, not cooling after running for several hours, and ice on the filter. He found a restricted water line. He suggested not putting any more money into this unit for repairs as the newer units are much more efficient.
When he took off the panel of the part of the unit that is in the garage (sorry, I don't know what it's called), we could see how dirty it was and he said there was a lot of mold.
I left all of this type of stuff up to (my now ex) husband, but I know we never had this unit or the ducts cleaned. The repairman did a quick check of the ductwork up in the attic. He said he couldn't check it completely as a lot of it was covered with blown in insulation. He didn't think there was anything wrong other than a poor design.
My question is, how do I know if I should have the ductwork replaced? I have decided that since I have the money right now, I will get a new (and more efficient) a/c unit before the end of the year (to take advantage of a tax credit). Should I just have the ducts cleaned, or should I have the ductwork replaced. The repairman said that usually most rooms have an air return (I don't know if that is the correct term.) now. I only have one, in my entry foyer. I was just thinking that since the ducts have never been cleaned (I've been in this house since May 1992) that maybe I should just have all new ductwork replaced. But, if I really don't need to spend that kind of money ($3000-$4000), then maybe I could just save the money.