Are you considering an AC replacement? Are you wondering whether it would be wiser to repair your unit instead? We understand. Replacing an AC unit can be costly, and nobody looks forward to having to shell out money for a repair or a replacement. However, you care about your family’s comfort so when your AC unit breaks down, you have to make a decision. At Brooks Heating and Air, we get a lot of calls asking for second opinions. Oftentimes we are able to give homeowners the good news that a repair can save them a lot of money.
Should you Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?
Figuring out when to repair or replace your air conditioner isn’t an easy decision. For starters, replacing an AC unit can be pricey, so it is important that the unit is on its last legs before doing this. Fortunately, in most circumstances, an air conditioner can be repaired. Brooks Heating and air does second opinion calls and can help you determine if a repair is in order. Although your unit CAN be repaired indefinitely, so can a car from the 1950s. At some point, your air conditioner becomes a money pit and a replacement is the wiser financial choice. Consider this graph:
According to the National Association of Homebuilders, an air conditioner has a lifespan of about 10-15 years. As you can see by the graph, once an air conditioner hits the 15 year mark, it starts to become a money pit. Consider things such as, did you have a solenoid replaced in the fall only to have to turn around and replace the compressor in the spring? If so, consider a replacement.
Is a Repair or A Replacement more Expensive?
A new air conditioner will cost between $5000-7000 depending on the unit and your location. This cost is an investment in your family’s comfort to be sure, but that’s still a lot of money going out. Here’s a simple formula to help you determine whether to repair or replace your unit:
Repair your Air Conditioner if:
(Cost of Repair) X (Age of Old AC Unit in Years) < (Cost of Your new AC)
Multiply the cost of your repair by the age of your old unit (in years). If the result is LESS than the cost of the new air conditioner that you want, then it is worth investing in a repair. If you are unsure of the cost of a new unit, $5000 is a good baseline.
Replace your Air Conditioner if:
(Cost of Repair) X (Age of Old AC Unit in Years) > (Cost of Your new AC)
Conversely, if multiplying the cost of your AC repair by the age of the old unit is MORE than the cost of a new AC, then a replacement is in order.
Have Your Energy Bills Gone Through The Roof?
As you are weighing the decision to repair or replace your air conditioner, consider this: if your energy bills have been steadily increasing, and your power company hasn’t increased rates, it might be wiser to replace your unit. Air conditioners are machines and like any machine, they can last longer with proper care and maintenance. However, all machines are subject to deterioration over time, and eventually need to be replaced as they lose their efficiency. In order to make an accurate assessment of your energy costs, you will need to review the previous year’s worth of energy bills. Once you have reviewed your bills you will be able to clearly see if there has been a steady rise.