Three Factors in Deciding if your Air Conditioner Needs Replacement

While servicing your household air conditioning unit annually is a good habit (and now is a great time!), when is it time to start looking at an upgrade?

Homeowners everywhere stumble over this question and the assumed answer is almost always based on the cost of a new unit.  While that is a well beaten path, there are other considerations to take into account.

Does your unit need additional refrigerant?

R-22 or R-410A, you may refer to as Freon, ranges in cost just as gas for your car does but if you are regularly needing additional freon, that signifies that you have a leak in your A/C system and that money is just as good as gone.  While we can’t pin-point how much it will cost to fix a leak over the phone or here on the internet, the repair does entail putting in several pounds of refrigerant and tracing down the leak for a ballpark range of $250-$500.  Generally speaking, if you have a leak, your compressor will be the next thing to go (roughly $1,500-$2,000).

Efficiency degrades over time

Much like any mechanical device, parts that were made 10-15 years ago have been re-engineered and greater efficiencies have been found in how they work.  The Energy Star rating of a new unit is a great reference to save up to as much as 20% of your heating and cooling costs.

The two rules of 10

10-15 years is a good rule of thumb for the life of your air conditioning unit.  Sure, some will last longer with a routine annual inspection and maintenance program, but others that don’t follow that kind of routine may not.

Take the total of your repair estimate and multiply it by 10.  If that quick analysis exceeds the replacement cost, you would be better off replacing.  If it falls below, go ahead and get it repaired and keep a strict maintenance regimen to extend the life as much as possible.

There are other factors that go into making this decision such as how long you plan on living there and the cost of your utility bills.  To gauge the condition of your A/C unit, schedule an appointment with your Modern Air Comfort Advisor, Jason Hoelting today and don’t wait till replacing is your only option.