Is it Time for AC Replacement or Repair? Here’s How to Decide

Did you know that almost 90% of American households have some sort of air conditioning in them?

Older properties are less likely to have AC, however, more and more Americans are installing AC units in their homes to help keep them cool during the summer months. But what you might not know about AC units is that they need to be regularly maintained and cleaned to prevent the need for early replacement.

Read on to discover whether your AC unit needs repairs or whether it’s time for an AC replacement. 

Which Is Right: AC Repairs Vs. AC Replacement?

During the course of its lifetime, your AC unit might encounter several problems that can be fixed by an HVAC expert. Some common problems you might experience include an AC unit not cooling your house, an AC unit making unusually loud noises, or an AC unit overheating. 

Some common problems can even be fixed or prevented by you. For example, an overheating air conditioner can be prevented by regularly changing the filters, as the guide by Schneider Mechanical explains, check it out here. However, if you don’t know what the problem is or don’t feel comfortable fixing the AC unit then you can always get an HVAC specialist to come and look at it.

There are several factors that may influence your decision as to whether you should repair or replace your AC unit, such as the age of the unit, the number of repairs you’ve already had, the AC replacement cost, and the cost of your energy bills. 

  1. How Old Is Your AC?

The age of your AC unit is an excellent indicator of whether you should get it repaired or replaced. AC units that are under 10 years of age should be fine (and cost less) with repair work.

The average lifespan of an AC unit is between 10 and 15 years, maybe 20 years if you have the optimal conditions. That’s why AC units over 10 years, and certainly those over 15 years ought to be replaced. Rooftop and outdoor AC units are more likely to be exposed to pollutants, so these should be replaced every 10 years.

The cost to replace an AC unit that is older than 10 or 15 years will be cheaper than the cost to repair the unit, especially if several repairs will be needed. You’ll also save money by replacing an old AC unit as you’ll save money in terms of efficiency. Newer AC units are more efficient and thus save you more money when it comes to paying your bills.

  1. How Many Repairs Has Your Unit Already Had?

It might be a good idea to replace an AC unit if it’s had countless repairs already. Regular checks and minor maintenance are essential to the smooth running of your AC unit. However, if it keeps breaking, isn’t cooling the home properly, or making loud noises and the repairs don’t seem to fix the problem then you might need to replace it.

Another factor that should influence whether you have your AC repaired or replaced is if important components are failing. For example, if the condenser or compressor is failing then it might be cheaper to replace the entire AC unit than having an AC compressor replacement.

  1. How Much Does It Cost to Replace Vs. Repair?

As mentioned above, sometimes it might be cheaper to replace the entire AC unit as opposed to repairing or replacing certain parts of the unit. Older AC units may come with higher repair costs because of how much it costs to buy and fit the old part.

If you’re uncertain whether it’ll be cheaper to replace or repair your AC unit then you should ask your HVAC specialist which option would be cheaper. Some HVAC experts might try to push you to go for an AC replacement, however, you can avoid this situation by calling in a company that offers both repairs and replace AC services.

AC replacement and repairs can be costly, but there are ways you can reduce costs. For example, you can ask different providers for their opinions and get different quotes for the job to see which one is right for you.

  1. How Much Are Your Energy Bills?

Another factor that should influence your decision between AC repairs or AC replacement is the cost of your energy bills. Rising energy bills despite your provider not raising their rates should be a clear sign that your unit isn’t working as well as it should. Poorly performing AC units and those that aren’t as efficient as they once were can significantly increase how much you pay for your energy bills. 

Newer AC unit models can help you save up to $200 every year on your energy costs. So the money it costs to replace your AC unit will soon balance out if you’ve been forking out more on your energy bills.

Newer AC units are more efficient and as such come with more features that you can control, such as smart thermostat compatibility, dehumidifiers, and variable speed motors. These features mean that you can save even more money and optimize the way you keep your home cool. Who doesn’t want to be cool, in control, and save money?

Should I Replace or Repair My AC?

When it comes to AC replacement or AC repairs many people are influenced by the upfront cost of the job. But don’t let that fool you, remember that the overall costs include the efficiency of the unit, the number of times it has already needed repairs, and the age of the unit. Use our guide to find out whether you need your AC replaced or repaired and if you still aren’t sure then make sure you ask an HVAC specialist.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other home articles to learn more about your AC problems.


Written by George K.

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