The decision between repairing or replacing an air conditioner that’s broken down isn’t an easy one. Your existing air condition might have been doing a great job for years until the day it suddenly doesn’t. How do you know which one is the better decision? There are several things to consider when deciding between these two options.
The Age of Your Air Conditioner
Some air conditioners can last for 30 years or more. However, the average life span of an AC system is between 15 and 20 years. It depends on how much you use your air conditioner and the humidity level of where you live. An air conditioner that was properly installed and maintained will last much longer than one that wasn’t.
In general, once your air conditioner is over 10 years old, it is time to consider replacing it instead of having a repair done. Once one part of an older AC system breaks, it can mean there are other worn-out parts as well. It makes sense to put money toward a new system instead of repairing an old one that may continue to have issues.
How Expensive the Repair Is
If it’s just a minor repair, it probably doesn’t make sense to replace your air conditioner because of the expense of fixing it. Minor things include a broken capacitor or a clogged drain line. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old and the repair will cost half of what replacing it is, consider getting a new one.
The major components of an AC system are the compressor, evaporator unit and condenser unit. Each of these is expensive to repair. If you’re told one of these components needs replacement, know that you’re facing a high repair bill that may not be worth it when you can simply get a new unit.
Frequent Repair Bills
If your AC system needs frequent repairs, consider replacing it. Even small repair bills can quickly add up. It can be more cost-effective to buy a new air conditioner rather than to continue putting money into an old one that isn’t reliable. You also don’t want to deal with the hassle of having an uncomfortable home on a regular basis.
Proper maintenance is critical in how long an air conditioner lasts. This includes maintenance performed by the homeowner and an annual tune-up from a technician. An AC system that has been poorly maintained may not be worth repairing.
You should be changing the air filter every one to three months. Keep plants away from it and make sure to consistently clean debris off of it. Call an HVAC company every spring to schedule maintenance. If you haven’t been doing these things, it’s likely that your system is in need.
At Your Service Heating & Cooling LLC is a company in Baltimore, MD, that has been doing air conditioner tune-up since 2013. Our experienced technicians will make sure your AC system is ready for the summer heat and that it lasts as long as possible.
Type of Refrigerant
Air conditioners that are older than 12 years old have R22 refrigerant. Otherwise known as Freon, it was made illegal to produce in the United States as of January 1, 2020. Only recycled Freon is now available, and it has become very expensive.
If you have an air conditioner that uses R22 refrigerant and it’s leaking, you may not be able to repair it. Even if you can, the cost of Freon is costly enough that you’re probably better off with a new air conditioner. A benefit of getting a new air conditioner is that the refrigerant now used doesn’t harm the ozone layer like Freon does.
Does Your AC System Meet Your Needs?
A reason to replace, rather than repair, your air conditioner is that it isn’t meeting your needs. It may struggle to cool your home even when it’s otherwise working. Many older model AC systems can no longer cool a home efficiently. Some rooms may be too warm, while others are too hot. Perhaps it can no longer dehumidify your home properly. Other problems with old air conditioners are that they’re often loud. Considering performance, a new unit would make more sense in these situations.
Energy Efficiency Considerations
If you have high electricity bills in the summer, it’s your air conditioner that’s probably to blame. New AC systems are far more efficient than ones produced even just several years ago. You can reduce your energy bills by investing in a new air conditioner.
The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured by its SEER Rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Up until 2006, it was required that an AC system be at least 10 SEER. From 2006 to 2015, the minimum was 13 SEER. In 2023, it will increase to 14 or 15 SEER.
A 13 SEER air conditioner is 30% more efficient than one that is 10 SEER. While you’ll pay for a new air conditioner, your monthly energy costs will be lowered by upgrading to a more energy efficient one.
Unmatched AC System
If the outdoor AC unit was replaced, it may not match the indoor unit. As the indoor AC unit was still functional, the decision was made to just replace the outdoor one. The problem with this in the long run is that they’re not compatible. This is called an unmatched AC system.
An unmatched AC system is bound to need repairs. The system doesn’t operate as efficiently as it could be and will probably have a shortened lifespan. The unit that was replaced probably won’t have its warranty honored, as that requires a matched AC system. If you replace your unmatched air conditioning system instead of repairing it, you will have a matched system that works how it was intended to.
New air conditioners come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty covers parts and usually lasts 5-10 years. By purchasing a new air conditioner, you will have peace of mind that the parts are covered should there be a problem with them. If you have an old air conditioner, the warranty ay have expired, leaving you with the full cost of any repair.
Air conditioners have much better technology than older ones. There are now two-stage and variable speed air conditioners. Both can save you a lot of money on your electricity bills. Some alert you that you need to change the air filter or that the condenser is dirty.
New air conditioners are also compatible with smart thermostats. A smart thermostat is convenient as it uses artificial intelligence to cool your home. You can control the temperature in your home from anywhere using an app. They also save you money on your energy bills by knowing when you’re home or away.
At Your Service Heating & Cooling LLC is the company to call for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners and furnaces. Our other services include indoor air quality, duct cleaning and ductless mini-splits. We can also help you with conventional and tankless water heaters, sump pumps and backup generators. Visit our website for more information or give us a call today!