A common dilemma most homeowners face is whether to repair or replace their current air conditioner unit. Knowing when the time is right is key to saving you money in the long run. Estimates for new AC unit replacements can run north of $4,000, whereas repair costs can come in at $300 to $600 annually.
The benefits of getting a new AC unit can include new warranty coverage, lower monthly energy bills and peace of mind. Repairing your unit on the other hand doesn’t guarantee that the fix will work, or for how long the repaired unit will last.
Consider the following when deciding r to repair or replace your AC unit:
- The age of your AC unit.
- The costs to replace or repair.
- If your home is cooling properly.
- Changes in utility bills.
Consider the Age
After 10-15 years, performance will decline in regards to energy efficiency and maintenance needs of older units which will add to your annual cost. The inefficiency of older models adds to your energy bill each month and should be replaced with newer, more efficient models. In addition, the older your AC unit is, the more difficult it can be to repair due to availability of older parts needed. As time goes by many homeowners find their older AC unit becomes unable to efficiently keep up with your air conditioning needs. Newer units offer higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) compared to older ones, saving you money on your energy bill.
If your unit is inside the 10 year mark, have a professional give you a repair quote and make sure to check your warranty before committing to a large repair cost. Remember some things at low coolant levels or clogged filters can be attributed to poor AC performance. Read on to learn about the 5,000 rule, which is a helpful calculatione to determine if the unit should be replaced. If it the calculated result is less than $5000, then the unit should be repaired.
Calculate the costs
The $5,000 rule: Multiply the age of the equipment by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then replace the unit. If less, go ahead and repair it. Example:
- 10-year-old unit with a $250 repair equals $2,500. It’s okay to repair.
Is my home cooling properly?
AC units that require frequent repairs may mean it’s time to look into replacing it. Warning signs that your AC unit is on its last legs include:
- Constantly breaking down.
- Never cooling the home properly.
- Always operating loudly.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, you should consider replacing the unit as soon as possible. And if an important component like the compressor or condenser fails, don’t bother trying to repair it as the cost of the parts and labor won’t make it worth it.
What can I do to make my current AC unit more efficient?
Try asking about adding a programmable thermostat for improved temperature control or a dehumidifier to help keep your home cool and comfortable.
Energy Savings with New Units
If energy bills keep rising, but rates haven’t been increasing then that might be a reason to consider a replacement. The energy efficiency of newer units will payoff in the long run and give you a more reliable stream of cool air. Some units even offer federal tax refunds for their energy efficiency.
So take the next step in replacing your AC unit by learning how to size your AC unit! Partner with a dedicated contractor such as a nearby Ruud Pro Partner, we’ll help by recommending whether to repair or replace your AC unit. Together we’ll work with you to choose the option that best fits your lifestyle needs and budget. Whether you need financing for a new air conditioning unit or help finding the right contractor to repair your AC unit, we’re here to help.