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Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioning Unit?

images of an AC handler

There comes a point in every home or business owner’s life where they must choose between repairing or replacing their air conditioning unit. Of course, air conditioners don’t last forever and will eventually reach the point of replacement. But how do you know whether your AC unit has reached that point?

At ACS, we offer top-quality air conditioning services and valuable industry insight to help you make informed decisions for your cooling systems. Whether your AC needs a minor tweak or a complete system overhaul, our HVAC-certified technicians are here to accommodate your needs. If you’ve found yourself at a crossroads with your air conditioning unit, let’s consider what different scenarios could mean for your AC repair or replacement.

Replace: Your Air Conditioning Unit is Over 10 Years Old

The first thing you should consider when deciding your air conditioner’s fate is age. If your unit is relatively new, there should be no need for a system overhaul. However, if your AC is over 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade. An air conditioning unit can last 10-15 years if well maintained. But even so, the repair cost for an older system may not be worth it if your unit is nearing its end. After passing the 10-year threshold, most AC units will have expired warranties, lower efficiency, and higher repair quotes. If these factors apply to your unit, we recommend calling an HVAC professional for a replacement.

Repair: Cost of Repair is Below $5,000

In general, most HVAC experts abide by the “5,000 rule.” Used to calculate HVAC repair costs, the 5,000 rule involves multiplying the age of your unit by the repair cost. If this final total exceeds $5,000, then it’s time to replace your unit. However, if the total is below $5,000 and your system only calls for an occasional repair while performing well overall, you’ll likely only need a repair.

Replace: Your Energy Bills Are Going Up

If you can’t decide between repairing or replacing your air conditioning unit, your energy bills may have your answer. Although your energy expenses may fluctuate slightly based on weather conditions, they should be consistent month-to-month, particularly if you live in a mild climate. If you’ve noticed sudden upticks in your energy bills, chances are your air conditioner is due for a replacement. AC efficiency declines with age and can rack up higher energy costs over time. With regular maintenance from a local air specialist like ACS, an air conditioning unit can extend its lifespan and maintain efficiency. However, after reaching the above-mentioned 10-year threshold, the energy bills will likely stay on the incline.

Repair: You’re Selling Your Home Soon

Unless your AC unit has no hope of redemption and requires excessive emergency repairs, it may not be worth replacing if you plan to move soon. If your AC system is experiencing minor hiccups, sustaining it through the remainder of your tenancy may make more sense than replacing it. However, if your unit is on life support when it comes time to sell your home, a buyer may extend a lower offer to account for replacement costs.

Replace: Your Air Conditioning Unit Uses R-22 Freon Refrigerant

Many air conditioners over 10 years old use R-22 Freon refrigerant. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been phasing this refrigerant out over the past decade, and as of 2020, its production is prohibited in the U.S. As a result, any remaining R-22-Freon supplies have skyrocketed in price compared to refrigerants used in modern units like R-410a. If your system runs on R-22 Freon, consider replacing it with an updated model. Not only will the use of R-22 Freon cost you more, but it will also cost the environment.

HVAC Heating and Cooling with ACS

At ACS, we are committed to helping you get the most out of your heating and cooling systems. Whether it’s an air conditioner replacement or repair, no cooling job is too big or too small for our team of top-performing HVAC technicians. If you’re looking for premier air conditioning services in Covington, Milledgeville and surrounding areas, connect with our team today!