When your AC acts up, you have the option to choose between repairing and replacing it. Some AC repairs can also be quite expensive, and there are definitely times when replacing the unit will be the better choice, even if your AC has a few years of life left. Here are some things you should consider that can help you make a more informed decision.
Age of the AC Unit
One thing you should always consider when your AC has issues is how old the unit is. It seldom makes sense to spend money on expensive repairs if the unit is old and will likely fail in the next few years. Central air conditioners typically have a maximum lifespan of around 15 years. If your unit is more than 10 or 12 years old and needs expensive repairs, a replacement will almost always be the best option. If only minor repairs are needed and the unit is still working effectively, you might be able to at least put off purchasing a new unit for a few years.
Effectiveness and Energy-Efficiency Rating
If your AC often struggles to keep your home cool on much hotter days, you may want to simply replace it instead of attempting to have it repaired. Even with repairs, there is a high chance that the unit will continue to struggle and lead to higher energy bills and decreased comfort. If your AC runs almost constantly and never keeps the home cool enough, it could simply be too small for your home or have too many issues to work effectively. In these situations, installing a new unit is definitely the way to go as it will both reduce your cooling costs and improve your comfort.
It is also a good idea to consider the energy efficiency of your current unit when deciding whether or not to have it repaired. All central AC units are rated for energy efficiency using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER scale. The SEER rating of your unit will be listed somewhere on the unit. If the unit has a rating of 10 SEER, upgrading to a new unit is always the best choice. Compared to a 10 SEER AC, any new unit you choose will lower your cooling costs by at least 35% on average. This is because the minimum energy efficiency requirement for all new air conditioners in Texas is now 15 SEER, and each higher SEER value equates to approximately a 7% increase in energy efficiency. Several online SEER energy savings calculators can help you understand what you would save in electricity bills by upgrading.
Repair Needs and Cost
If your AC seems to constantly break down and needs to be repaired frequently, it is definitely time to start thinking about having it replaced. It simply doesn’t make sense to continue spending money on repairs for a failing unit with many different issues. This is true even if the unit only ever needs minor repairs. When you have your AC issues diagnosed, take time to speak with technicians about how long they can guarantee a repair. Ask them whether they see other components that are likely to have issues in the near future.
It is also a good idea to consider the total cost of the necessary repairs compared to how many years the unit has left. Let’s say that an HVAC company quotes you a price of $500 to repair your AC. If your unit is only a few years old, paying $500 is probably the better option. If the unit is more than 10 years old, however, you’re better off putting that $500 toward the cost of a new unit instead. If you plan on financing your new air conditioner, you might compare the monthly cost of a new unit to the cost of repairs you have recently incurred.
There are also some repairs that rarely make sense. This is especially true if the AC compressor motor has failed or burnt out. In most cases, you’d end up paying nearly the same price to replace the compressor motor as you would to have a brand-new unit installed. For this reason, replacing the compressor motor generally only ever makes sense if the unit is newer and still under warranty.
At George’s Air Conditioning, we specialize in AC repairs and installation services. Our technicians can help you determine whether replacement or repair is the best choice. We offer professional HVAC maintenance to keep your AC functioning effectively. We can also assist with any heating or indoor air quality needs as well. For more information on our residential and commercial HVAC services in Galveston, contact us today.