When your air conditioner isn’t functioning as it should, deciding whether to replace it or carry out an air conditioning repair can be tricky. Many customers are unsure, for example, whether it’s ever worth calling in a repair technician for a very old unit. However, choosing to repair instead of replacing can save you a lot of money. In this article, we’ll look at some simple ways you can decide whether your AC is worth fixing or if it’s time for a new one.
1. Consider your air conditioner’s age
If you’ve had your air conditioner for less than 10-12 years, it’s often worth calling in an air conditioning repair company to have it fixed. Of course, this depends on what’s actually wrong with the unit and whether it is still covered by the warranty. If your AC is 10-12 years old or more, it’s probably time to start thinking about buying a replacement.
2. Weigh up the costs
One of the primary deciding factors when it comes to repairing or replacing their air conditioner for customers is cost. Carrying out air conditioning repair is almost always cheaper than buying a replacement. However, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to buy a whole new unit if the repair bill is expected to come to around 40% or more of the cost of a new AC system, which starts at around $5,000 but can cost considerably more.
Another way air conditioning repair professionals sometimes tell their customers to weigh up whether an air conditioning repair repair is worth doing is to use the ‘rule of $5,000’. To do this, you take the cost of the proposed repairs and multiply it by the age in years of your unit. If you end up with a figure that’s more than $5,000, you should be planning to buy a new system.
3. Check the efficiency of your unit
Efficient air conditioners are much cheaper to run, so it’s a good idea to consider the efficiency of your unit as part of your decision. If your unit has a SEER rating of above 15 and you’re happy with your energy bills, an air conditioner repair could be in order. However, units with a rating of less than 15 could cost you more to keep than they might to replace. As a rule, older air conditioners tend to have lower SEER ratings than newer models as the average score has gradually risen over the years.
Signs of an inefficient AC unit include it running constantly, not cooling your home down adequately or running up high bills that steadily increase. While it could cost a lot to replace, you could find yourself saving $200 per year or even more on your energy bills.
4. Watch out for frequent repairs
If your AC is constantly breaking down and needing to be repaired, this is a sign that it needs to be replaced instead. If you’ve had to book frequent air conditioner repair because your unit is noisy or failing to cool the room properly, it’s probably time for a new one.
There are also certain types of air conditioner breakdowns that are usually a sign that it needs replacing. If important parts like the compressor or the condenser break, you should consider a replacement.
Other Ideas to Consider
Even after taking all these factors into consideration, it still may not be clear whether you need an air conditioner repair or a new system. It’s important to take the overall running condition of your system into account. It’s not uncommon to see an older AC system that’s been carefully maintained running beautifully, while some newer systems could appear much older if they haven’t been looked after properly.
It’s also important to consider how well the unit was installed in the first place. Various aspects of your air conditioner’s installation could cause it to run badly. So, how do you judge the condition and installation of your AC?
The best way to find out the state of your air conditioning system is to call in a professional air conditioning repair technician in Minneapolis, MN. They will have the training to assess your AC’s performance and advise whether an air conditioning repair or replacement is best.
How to Get the Best Advice
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous air conditioning repair companies will do their best to sell you a new AC system even if your existing one could be quickly and cheaply repaired. Another common pitfall is that some service providers will allow you to continue paying them for repeated repairs on an air conditioner that’s way past its prime. So, how do you pick a company you can trust?
First of all, never be pressured into making a decision right away. Any good air conditioner repair company will be happy to explain the pros and cons clearly in a way you can easily understand, and will not put you under pressure to purchase any expensive equipment without thinking it through.
It’s also a great idea to pick an unbiased air conditioner repair company that provides both new installation and repair services to give you their expert opinion. That way, you know that they don’t have a vested interest in swaying you one way or the other, so you can trust that their advice is an honest representation of what’s best for your home and wallet.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner can be a difficult decision. If you’re having issues with your AC, get in touch with Blue Ox Heating & Air today. We provide air conditioning repair and replacement services to the Minneapolis, MN area and can give you honest, unbiased advice to help you make the right choice.