Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Person fixing HVAC unit with a screwdriver

When faced with HVAC repair issues in the blistering heat of summer many homeowners ask themselves – should I repair or replace my air conditioner? Maybe this is the first time your unit has called it quits, maybe you have been dealing with reoccurring repairs all year long or maybe your utility bill has simply gotten out of hand. Whatever it may be, the decision to repair or replace your air conditioner is not an easy one. Each situation stands on it’s own and many factors need to be considered to help answer your question. We have compiled the following guidelines to help with your decision.

Recognize the Time for Repair vs. Replacement

Air Conditioner Age – Most HVAC technicians recommend upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is 10-15 years or older. Although some systems may last longer than others, all systems will increasingly lose energy efficiency over time, costing you more energy dollars in the long run.

Frequent Breakdowns – If you are making monthly service calls to keep your system up and running, it may be time to consider replacement. On the other hand, if your system is serviced routinely and you haven’t experienced regular breakdowns, a repair may be easier on your wallet.

Uneven Temperatures – Uneven temperatures in your home may be an indicator that your air conditioner needs to be replaced or repaired.

Noise – Your system can become excessively noisy and even turn off unexpectedly if it is having to overexert itself to keep up with the cooling demands of your home. The excessive noise could indicate that your system needs to be replaced or repaired. Having a regular maintenance schedule and annual professional maintenance done can help preserve the function of your system and prevent problems before they occur.

Benefits to Replacing Your HVAC System

Cost Savings – Recent advances in A/C technology have greatly improved energy efficiency. In many cases, a great deal of energy can be saved by upgrading to a newer, more efficient system. By calculating your Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) you can determine how efficiently your current system is running. Depending on your EER, upgrading could save you 20% to 40% on heating and cooling costs.

EER calculation: You can calculate your EER by taking the total BTU (British Thermal Unit) of heat rejected, or actual cooling per hour and diving it by the watts of electricity used to reject the heat.

New Warranties – Many newer units come with warranties from their manufactures. Warranties will help you save on repair costs should any issues arise with your new unit.

Improved Indoor Air Quality – In comparison to older systems, new equipment does a better job of controlling temperature and humidity, which helps reduce mold and mildew growth. Less dust can even be noticed when replacing your air conditioner. With better temperature control and less allergens in the air the comfort and air quality of your home will be improved.

Peace of Mind No more having to worry about your system quitting on you in the heat of summer! You can find peace of mind with your new air conditioner knowing that worry-free operation is in your future for many years to come.

Benefits of Repair

Newer Systems – For a new or relatively new system, it is likely that replacement isn’t necessary. With newer systems a simple repair is usually all that is needed.

Cost of Repairs – Consider the 50% Rule. If the cost of repairs is less than half (50%) of the value of your heating or cooling system, a repair is probably your best option. However, when the cost of repairs starts to creep closer to that 50% mark, it’s generally time to replace the system. This metric is a good rule of thumb to take into account when considering whether to repair or replace your A/C unit, but you should always consider your specific situation and consult a professional.

Maintenance – In many cases some simple maintenance techniques can help prolong your system’s lifespan and make immediate replacement unnecessary. If your system is neither old or new, ask your technician if regular maintenance is your best option and what you can do to get a few more years out of your existing system.

Still Have Some Questions? Ask the Experts at Advance Mechanical!

If you still can’t decide between replacement or repair, contact Advance Mechanical. Our friendly professional staff services ALL makes and models and can help you determine whether repairing or replacing your system is the best decision for you!