Cost And Age Weigh Into The Decision To Repair Or Replace Your Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner has broken down a few times, you might be wondering if replacing it would be better than making repairs. Sometimes, the answer to this question is straightforward and other times you should get the advice of an HVAC contractor to help you decide between air conditioner repair and replacement. Here are some factors that weigh into the decision.

The Age Of Your Current Air Conditioner

If you've taken excellent care of your air conditioner, it may be well beyond its expected lifespan. A central air conditioner can last for 15-20 years when it's well maintained. So, if yours is over 15 years old, it may need repairs more frequently. Also, consider if refrigerant loss is a problem. Older air conditioners used refrigerant that is now phased out. For that reason, replacing the old refrigerant costs much more than it did when that type of refrigerant was commonly used.

Another reason to consider the age of the air conditioner is anticipated future costs. If you'll be retiring in a few years, you may want to replace the AC now so you can expect fewer repair bills and you'll have an air conditioner you can rely on when unexpected repair costs might be hard to handle on a fixed budget.

The Cost Of Air Conditioner Repair And Replacement

If you're looking at a costly repair bill, it may help to get a quote on a new air conditioner so you can compare the costs. Also, factor in the expectation that a new, energy-efficient air conditioner might lower your monthly power bills too. By considering the cost of repairs or replacement along with the age of your AC, you can judge which is the best investment of your money. Even if repairs are possible, there's probably a point where you'll decide your money will be better spent on buying a new AC rather than spending a large amount of money on repairing your old air conditioner.

The Type Of Repairs Needed

The type of air conditioner repairs you need may matter too. For instance, it's bad news when the compressor needs to be replaced because it is one of the most expensive parts of an air conditioner. You have to decide if it's worth it to buy such an expensive part for an old air conditioner that may only last a few more years. Before you make your decision, you'll want an HVAC technician to examine your AC thoroughly and diagnose the problem so an accurate quote for the repairs can be provided. Also, even if your AC is fairly new, there may be times when replacing it is the best option. For instance, if the unit is damaged in a flood, crushed by a tree limb, or fried by lightning, replacing it might be the right choice, especially if your insurance will cover the damage.