As a consumer, it’s difficult to tell when you’re being scammed or not. Some providers may push you towards installing a new system, while others make their money on repeat service calls. They encourage you to repair your air conditioner constantly, and you’re left asking yourself whose advice to follow regarding repairing vs replacing your AC.
Repairing vs Replacing Your AC – What To Look Out For
The two primary factors to consider regarding the repair or replacement of your air conditioner are running costs and performance. While these elements seem straightforward, other elements can affect both aspects. An air conditioner can have several common issues that affect its performance and contribute to the rising energy costs.
Age of The Unit
New air conditioners are costly, so your first step is to look at the age of the unit. Air-conditioners operating for more than 15 years are likely on a downward trajectory in terms of performance. Additionally, finding suitable replacement parts may be a significant hurdle. Bear in mind that as the unit ages, the more often you will experience breakdowns. If you’re calling out the repairman every year, you’re better off investing in a new unit.
If your unit doesn’t keep up with the rising energy costs, the unit may be outdated. Older air conditioners generally consume more energy which results in larger utility bills for you. Instead of forking out more money in that regard, it’s advisable to install an energy-efficient system. Consider installing a unit with an ENERGY STAR label that can save up to 20 percent of your heating and cooling costs.
The compressor is the system’s heartbeat, and if it fails, repairs may not be worth the cost. The majority of compressor faults stem from other elements that you won’t discover until you replace the compressor. Refrigerant leaks can go either way, but if you’re unlucky, repairs could be costly and time-consuming. In these cases, it’s wiser to replace the system entirely.
Calculate Repair Costs
The air conditioning industry uses a trusted formula to determine the value of a unit when compared to the cost of a new one. Firstly, consider the number of years the system is in operation and multiply the repair costs by its age. You can use the result to determine if installing a new system is more practical.
Costs of Refrigerant
New air conditioners use R-410a as opposed to the R-22 refrigerant. The reason for this is that the latter is difficult to obtain, which means it’s expensive. Factor these costs in when you’re considering repairing vs replacing your AC. R-410a is also more environmentally friendly.
Is the Air Conditioner a Suitable Size?
A decade ago, air conditioners were installed for convenience instead of practicality. For this reason, you may have ignored the size of the room in relation to the capacity of the unit. If the air conditioner is too small, it won’t cool the inside effectively, and it will consume more energy as a result of working harder. In this case, your system won’t be effective no matter how many times you opted for a repair. To save yourself money and enjoy a powerful unit, it’s wiser to invest in a new system.
Before you say goodbye to your air conditioner, evaluate its performance in recent times. If it’s under ten years old and has been operating well apart from the occasional repair, it may be worth considering further repairs instead of a replacement. The internal parts could be in excellent condition, in which case it would be a shame to replace an operational unit.
If you’ve moved into a new place and it has an air conditioner, you must find out more information regarding its condition and history of scheduled maintenance. These factors play a significant role in the lifespan of the unit. Suppose the previous owner shows you proof of regular servicing and cleansing according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. In that case, you can be confident that the parts within the unit are still in operational condition and won’t let you down after a few months or years down the line. Since the unit is less likely to fail, there’s no need to consider replacing the air conditioner.
Don’t Be Hasty
You may have service providers who are adamant that you should replace your system, but you should never rush to purchase new equipment. If they haven’t offered an adequate explanation or diagnosis of the problem, be extremely wary. Avoid making the decision under pressure and instead request a quotation and ask the provider for a few days to respond. Once you’ve weighed up all the elements and you’ve evaluated the reports from various HVAC contractors, then you can answer the question of repairing vs replacing your AC.