When your AC unit fails, you might have to make a difficult decision of whether to repair or replace the defective unit. This decision does not always have a clear answer and can vary depending on each homeowner’s situation and needs. There are a few things that you need to consider when faced with repair or replacing your air conditioning unit, including the following:
Life Expectancy and Age
The first consideration you should make is how old is your system and what is the life expectancy of that system? On average, an air conditioning unit can last anywhere from 15 – 20 years. If your system is only six or seven years old, then it is most likely going to be more cost effective to have a minor or moderate issue repaired by a technician instead of replacing the unit. Additionally, having a technician perform regular maintenance can help keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently and properly.
Another way some HVAC technicians might help homeowners decide to repair or replace an AC unit is using the 5,000 Rule. The 5,000 Rule takes the age of the system and multiplies it by the cost of the repair. If the result is lower than 5,000, then is it probably best to repair, but if it is over 5,000, then it might be best to replace the unit.
Energy Efficiency and Utility Costs
One of the main contributors to home energy costs is due to heating and cooling of the home. Over the past 10 years there has been a significant improvement in energy efficiency of residential split air conditioners and stricter regulation by the U.S. Department of Energy to meet higher efficiency standards. Some current air conditioning units can achieve a 20% to 40% increase in energy efficiency compared to air conditioners that were produced just 10 years ago! This significant improvement in energy efficiency results in homeowners paying significantly less on energy bills. If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, it might be beneficial to upgrade to a new unit for the energy savings alone.
Another issue with repairing an older unit is the type of refrigerant that is used in that particular air conditioning unit. Some older systems use the refrigerant R-22, which damages ozone in the atmosphere and is currently being phased out for the much more environmentally friendly refrigerant R-410A. The R-410A refrigerant can contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere; however, it does not deplete ozone and it contributes to higher energy efficiency. Thus, the cost for the R-22 refrigerant has skyrocketed to $40 to $175 a pound. If the repair on your air conditioning unit requires new or replaced R-22 refrigerant, then the cost of the repair will be much more substantial, and it will most likely be more cost effective to replace the unit.
Making the decision to repair or replace your air conditioning unit is not going to always be an easy choice. When you need help with your unit, contact ADA Heating and Air. Our HVAC technicians can help you decide the best steps for your unit, whether it involves an air conditioner repair or replacement. Our team provides service to the following areas: Danville, Harrodsburg, Lancaster, Lexington, Nicholasville, Stanford, Versailles, Winchester, and the surrounding areas.