Air conditioner problems are common, and when they occur, most homeowners find themselves at crossroads choosing between AC repair or replacement.
If you are in the same situation and don’t know which path to follow, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss the vital things to consider when deciding between AC repairs and replacement. So, keep it here!
When to Repair
AC repair is the first thing that comes to mind anytime your AC gets faulty, right? Although it might be a quick fix to the air conditioning problem beforehand, it doesn’t always work in all situations.
Here is a guide on when to repair your AC:
- If your AC unit is not old (less than 10 years). If you’ve maintained it well over the years, and it has not experienced major breakdowns during its lifetime, you should repair it. In most cases, the lifespan of an air conditioning unit is between 10-15 years, so if yours is still new or fairly used, it should, in most cases, continue functioning well after a repair.
- The repair cost is low: If the repair cost of your not-so-old AC unit is low, then it’s a good idea to repair it. To guide you in determining whether the cost is high or low, it’s advisable to adopt the $5,000 rule of thumb.
Here, you should multiply your unit’s age by the repair cost, and if it’s below $5,000, you should repair your AC. If the cost is above $5,000 then you should consider a replacement. For example, if your AC is 7 years old and the repair cost is $500 multiply 7×500 to get $3,500. This value is less than $5,000, meaning it’s okay to repair your AC unit.
- When the unit needs targeted fixes: You should call a professional technician to help you with these fixes because you might not have the right tools and knowledge to handle the repairs as DIY projects.
When to Replace
So, here are the situations when you should decide to do away with your AC unit and get a replacement:
- When the AC unit is old, ideally between 10-15 years, and is having recurring problems, it’s best to have it replaced.
- Costly repairs: if the cost of repairs is too expensive, mostly above $5,000 consider getting a new unit.
- Frequent repairs: Consider the frequency of repairs. If you call a technician every few months, then it’s time to dispose of your unit.
- Inefficiency: Check on inefficiencies such as ridiculously high energy bills and poor cooling power. Such inefficiencies indicate that your unit is worn out and needs a replacement.
- Availability of the refrigerant: If your AC uses Freon refrigerant, also known as R22, HCFC-22, which was phased out in 2020, you may consider replacing your older unit with a new model that uses the current standard refrigerant called Puron or R410A.
If you decide to go for a replacement, it’s important to have in mind that it’s not recommended to do it on your own. You’ll also need a permit from the local authorities in case of any alterations to the ventilation or ductwork. Besides, a license is needed to handle the refrigerant chemicals.