Should I Replace or Repair My AC?

At some point, most homeowners face the decision to repair or replace their air conditioning system. A repair is often more cost-effective up-front. However, AC replacement can have many benefits. Your air conditioning contractor can help you decide and weigh the benefits of each option. We’ll look at a few perks of replacing your AC unit and when a repair is the best choice for now.

Reasons You Should Consider AC Replacement

There are many benefits to replacing your air conditioner. While you may have become attached to your AC over the past few years, a replacement may be the right decision. These are some reasons to go this route:

  • Repair Costs Are Adding Up: Even if your AC needs a minor repair, it can cost hundreds of dollars. You may pay thousands of dollars for a major repair. But even if you’re not facing repair bills that high, consider how frequently your AC requires service. To determine if a repair is worth it, multiply the estimated repair cost by the unit’s age; if it exceeds the cost of a new model, go with AC replacement. Or, if a repair costs over 50% of installation, replace the system.
  • Your AC Is Aging: Most home ACs last 10 to 15 years, but depending on the system, they can last longer. However, a unit older than 10 years that requires extensive repairs should usually be replaced. Older air conditioners are less efficient to begin with, and they’re more likely to break down and require additional repairs. You’re just wasting money by fixing a 20-year-old air conditioner time and again.
  • Energy Efficiency Is Decreasing: An AC works less efficiently as it ages. Also, older models weren’t designed to be as energy-efficient as modern ones. Higher energy bills are one disadvantage of keeping your aging AC going. You may also be dealing with temperature control issues. A new air conditioner provides more consistent temperatures while saving on energy each month.
  • Indoor Air Quality Is On the Decline: A malfunctioning air conditioner is less effective at maintaining good indoor air quality. Excessive dust, particulates, and other pollutants can lead to respiratory and other health issues. Replacing an old AC is one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality. Newer units have more effective filters and are designed to newer standards that require homes to have cleaner air.
  • Old ACs Can Be Hazardous: An aging air conditioner can be a safety risk. Worn components and faulty wiring can increase the risk of a fire. Some systems still use R-22 Freon, which depletes the ozone layer and is an environmental hazard. If your AC has a coolant leak, it’s an immediate risk to your health and safety, as refrigerant is toxic.

Can I Get By with an AC Repair?

You may not yet need AC replacement if there are issues such as:

  • Warm air blowing due to a faulty or incorrectly set thermostat, dirty filter, or restricted airflow caused by clogged ducts.
  • A refrigerant leak if a line can be sealed and your AC system uses the latest acceptable refrigerant.
  • The air conditioner runs constantly due to a clogged filter, dirty coil, low refrigerant, or a malfunctioning thermostat.
  • Loud, unusual noises are caused by a loose, dirty, or damaged part; in this case, the affected part can be cleaned or replaced.
  • Restricted airflow from vents, which can be resolved by cleaning or sealing air ducts or fixing the motor or blower.

How Do I Decide on AC Repair or AC Replacement?

To make a decision, you need to determine the cause of the issue. Many AC issues, even if the system is older, are caused by simple problems. The more complex the issue or the more components it involves, the more likely your HVAC contractor will recommend AC replacement. Therefore, a technician must evaluate the extent of the damage. A repair makes sense if it entails replacing a small, inexpensive part; if the system is over 15 years old and requires a large, costly part, it should be replaced.

Contact Trio Heating & Air

Our fully trained technicians can provide any type of AC repair and help you decide when it’s time for AC replacement. We install top-quality makes and models and ensure they provide reliable comfort and operate efficiently. During air conditioning installation, we find the right model and size of unit for your home, remove your old system, install the new one, and test it to ensure it performs as intended. For more information, book an appointment online or call (415) 223-5096.

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