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Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Doug J.
July 10, 2019

Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

When you’re faced with hot & humid weather conditions and a broken-down air conditioner, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to make the daunting decision on whether to repair or replace your AC system.  For some it’s an easy choice but as systems start to age and repair bills start to mount or become more costly, the decision becomes significantly more difficult.  

Unfortunately, there’s no magic ball that tells you how much life is left in your AC unit or how many repair bills you’ll have to incur to keep it running year after year.   But you can always remember that your air conditioner is similar to a vehicle, in that, there comes a point in time where the money you're pouring into fixing or even operating it will cumulatively add up to more than the cost of purchasing a new one.

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you make an educated decision on whether to repair or replace your air conditioning system, if the situation should arise.  

Replace If…Your Air Conditioner is Over 12-Years-Old

An air conditioner has a typical lifespan of around 10-15 years.  If your air conditioner is getting up there in age, you might want to consider replacement over repair.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that your system can’t be fixed, but as they age they tend break down more frequently and their parts can be more difficult to find and more expensive to repair.    

Replace If…The Cost of Repair is Too High

You might be thinking to yourself, how do I know if the cost of the repair is too high? We can help. You first start by using a repair vs replace calculation.

(Cost of Repair) x (Age of Existing AC Unit inYears) > (Cost of Your New AC)

You should consider replacing if the cost of your repair multiplied by the age of your system is greater than your cost to replace.

For Example:  

Cost of Repair: $650

Age of Existing System: 12 Years

Cost of Replacement System: $6,000

$650 x 12 = $7,800 > $6,000

In this situation, the calculation suggests that it is better to replace However, in a situation where the cost of repair x age, is lower than the cost to replace – further consideration should be given to making the repair.  

Replace If…Your Energy Costs are on the Rise

In the typical US home, heating & cooling can account for as much as 48% of your monthly energy consumption.  If you’re energy bills are on the rise, it could mean that your HVAC system is losing efficiency with age. Upgrading to a new, more efficient system will not only enhance your comfort but will also reduce your energy usage.  

Replace If…Your Air Conditioner Has Trouble Keeping Up

Does your air conditioner run non-stop on really hot days?  Is the temperature in your home always warmer than what the thermostat is set to?  Do you experience temperature swings from room to room?  These are all signs that your air conditioner is struggling to keep up. Maintaining a consistent temperature in a home, is no small task for an air conditioning system – especially an aging one.  If you’re continuously having to sacrifice your comfort, it may be time for an upgrade.  

Need a second opinion? Contact us and one of our experts will be happy to assist!


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