How to Determine if Its Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Elk River stops working, it can be hard to know if it’s a sign for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a better option for the long run. The answer isn’t similar for every homeowner. For example, a system that has been well maintained could be a realistic candidate for an AC repair because it will almost certainly have a longer lifetime than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other influences should be taken into account in addition to this. We’ve got some questions that can help guide you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a large factor in your decision to arrange an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Dated systems usually don’t function as well as they did when they were new—and especially not as well as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could lower your energy consumption by more than you may think if you exchange your outdated system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Most often, this savings will justify investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can vary based on your specific equipment and how well it’s been taken care of, but Energy Star advises upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is more than 10 years old.

Outside your unit’s age, check out your AC repair history. If your system has stopped working a couple of times, it’s likely to stop working again—this circumstance can end up costing you more money in the future. When you take into account potential rebates and increased efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective over time?

Many technicians advise following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your equipment by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, exchange the system. If it’s less, go for the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cozy enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t working properly.
  • Are your energy bills going up without extra usage? This is a sign that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t do its job. Also, if you’ve recently did something to make your home more energy efficient, your system can essentially be greater than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re not sure if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to think about a replacement, Home Comfort Heating & Air can help! Our professionals can help you establish how much life remains in your system and what the ideal option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 763-276-0617 to setup an appointment for us to come out.