When deciding to replace or repair an air conditioning unit – it is always best to consider a few factors first. After considering all of these factors – it’ll be easier for you to take action should your AC break down – especially if it breaks down on a hot day. Sometimes a few simple repairs and regular maintenance are enough to keep an older unit kicking for a few more years, other times it’s better to replace it before it gets any worse.
Signs Your Unit Isn’t Working:
- Excessive or increased noise or vibrations
- Increased humidity levels
- Frequently breaking down
- Significant increase in energy bills
- Refrigerant or water leaking
- Problems with the thermostat
- Hot air blowing from the unit
- Unit won’t switch off or on
- Home cooling unevenly
- Burning smells or moldy odors coming from the unit
- More dust than usual building up in your home
An efficient and quality air conditioner can be a big investment, so unless your existing unit is experiencing frequent problems that can’t be solved without spending a significant amount of money – it often makes more sense to have a unit repaired.
Some factors to consider when making this difficult decision to replace or repair will be outlined below.
The AC Unit’s Age
A typical unit has a life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years, a well-maintained unit may keep performing well for even longer than this.
If your unit is over 10 years old, the warranty has expired, it’s frequently having problems, or the quotes you’ve received for repairs are high – purchasing a new unit may be the better option for you. If it is less than 10 years old, well-maintained, and hasn’t experienced a major failure, then it’s probably better to just have the unit repaired.
The Cost of the Repair
When you have a new AC unit, unless the cost of repairs is exorbitant, it rarely makes sense financially for somebody to replace it with a new one.
Many professionals will use the “$5,000 rule” as a general guide. You multiply the age of the unit by the repair costs, and if that exceeds $5,000, then the better option may be to replace the unit. If less than, repair it.
Refrigerant Environmental Impact & Availability
Many air conditioning units over 10 years old use R-22 Freon refrigerant, which as of 2020, is no longer produced in the U.S. Any remaining supplies have increased in cost, and are much more expensive than the more readily available R-410a. It is the refrigerant used in modern units. Because of this, refrigerant repairs needed may be more expensive and potentially more challenging; but R-22 Freon is a product that harms the environment.
More questions? Reach out to the experts at Florida Air Express. We are always happy to help.