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Should I Repair or Replace My AC Unit?

Installing a new air conditioning unit is expensive, so it’s always easy to understand why most homeowners will put off for as long as possible. After all, why spend a lot of money on new AC equipment when you can keep the old system running with the help of a few repairs?

Should I repair or replace my AC?
Should I repair or replace my AC?

Well, there comes a time when you realize that your old air conditioning system is actually costing you more than it would cost to install a new unit. The old unit becomes more and more expensive as it runs less and less efficiently and requires more and more repairs.

Knowing when you have reached this point can be difficult.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself the next time you are pondering whether to repair or replace.

Factor #1 – How Old Is Your Existing Air Conditioning Unit?

If your AC equipment is less than ten years old, there is a good chance that it is worthwhile to have it repaired, unless it has been damaged substantially in ways that are not connected to normal wear and tear.

As your system gets closer to and passes the ten-year mark, there is a good chance it may be time to replace the unit. Appliances this old are going to begin to run much less efficiently and are going to fall into disrepair more frequently. Appliances that were made over ten years ago also do not have many of the same energy saving features that are available today.

Factor #2 – What Type of Refrigerant Does Your AC Unit Use?

A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency released new guidelines based on the finding that the refrigerant R-22 depletes the Earth’s ozone layer. Their website explains that the goal of new regulations is to gradually reduce the amount of this chemical that is produced, with the goal that by the year 2020, it will no longer be in production.

The EPA also notes that homeowners are not required to replace their air conditioning units that use R-22, even if the equipment is in need of repairs. They do recommend that, if your AC equipment is in need of major repairs, that you consider switching to a more efficient air conditioner. Those that were made after January 1, 2010 no longer use R-22.

Factor #3 – How Much Are You Currently Spending?

After answering the first two questions, the next and perhaps most important question you need to ask is: How much will I save each year if I choose to replace the unit?

In order to answer this question, you must first determine how much you are spending because of your air conditioner. Look back over the last year and determine how much you have spent cooling your home and how much you have spent on repairs.

Next, research your options in terms of new air conditioning units. The cost of a new AC system can vary depending on your home size and the type of equipment you purchase, so make sure to ask us for a free estimate on your specific home.

Then, using your last twelve months of electric bills, it is possible to estimate how much your cooling costs would be if you were to replace the system.

If your system is older, or in great disrepair, you might find that a new air conditioning unit would pay for itself in a relatively short period of time. If this is the case, this is a clear sign that it may be a smart time to install a new system.

If there is very little difference from what you have paid over the last year and what you are expected to pay with a new AC unit, you may be better off choosing the repair route. If your existing system is functioning fairly well, and simply occasionally needs inexpensive repair and maintenance, you can likely use this system for a while yet.