Even when they’re properly maintained, air conditioners — like all equipment — will age and occasionally break down. when that happens, you get to ask yourself a question: is a repair all the A/C needs, or is it time to replace your unit with a new system? If you find yourself facing the repair or replace quandary this year, start by asking these questions:
How old is the unit? An air conditioner is expected to last for 15-20 years, but that doesn’t mean there’s no benefit to replacing one before then. Advances in HVAC efficiency over the last decade may mean that a replacement can pay ongoing savings which make it as economical as a repair.
How frequently does the A/C break down, and how expensive is it to repair? Frequent breakdowns may mean that a new unit is worth the purchase price to avoid the hassle and discomfort. As for expense, there are several different metrics you can use: one states that if a repair is more than a third of the cost of a new unit, you should replace immediately. Another states that if the age of the unit times the repair cost (e.g. 10 years old times a $600 repair would equal $6000) exceeds five thousand dollars, you should replace.
Has your home changes its cooling load since your A/C was installed? Home expansions can raise your A/C sizing requirements, while insulation upgrades, home sealing, cool roofing, window treatments, and even yard landscaping can all lower it. It’s important to have a unit which is sized correctly for your home.
Is more than one component in your system giving you trouble? If your internal and external components have both caused you trouble in the last year or two, it may be a good time to prioritize replacing the entire system. A mismatched system can cause additional problems.
If you’re wondering whether to repair or replace the air conditioner in your Corpus Christi home, contact us at CCAC!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about repair or replace questions and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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