Are you wondering whether it is time to replace your air conditioning unit? The average lifespan of an AC unit is 15 to 20 years. A unit’s useful life can vary depending on where you live and how you maintain it.
Knowing when to repair or replace your unit is an important part of taking care of your home and the needs of your family. Read on to learn whether now is the right time for an AC repair or replacement!
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Perform Routine Maintenance
Before deciding on AC replacement you should consider whether performing routine maintenance can extend the life of your unit.
Sometimes when your unit seems to be working harder than usual to cool your home, it can be a simple fix. For example, you should change your AC unit filter every 90 days! If you wait longer to replace the filter, this can put an unnecessary strain on your system.
Instead of replacing your unit, you can speak with a licensed professional at Schneider Mechanical about starting a routine maintenance schedule. In addition to changing the filter regularly, routine maintenance includes cleaning the coils and oiling parts in your unit.
Performing these regular maintenance tasks will help keep your air conditioner running longer.
Consider Repair Costs
If your AC unit has stopped working, you should get an estimate for a repair and compare this to the cost of a new air conditioner. While repair costs vary depending on the severity of your issue, this can be far less than paying for a brand new unit.
Once you’ve paid for a unit and AC installation, you may be spending over $5,000! Although a repair bill for hundreds of dollars may seem like a lot at first glance, it may not be in the bigger picture.
An important consideration is how long your repair will extend the life of your unit. Once you’ve gotten that information, you will need to perform a cost-benefit analysis based on your needs and budget.
Energy Efficiency Matters
Before you pay someone to perform an AC repair, you should review the energy efficiency of your system. In the past two decades, there have been tremendous technological advances in how AC systems work.
For example, many of today’s newer AC units offer variable speed technology. These systems operate at different speeds throughout the cooling cycle. This allows your system to alternate between higher and lower speeds as it cools your home.
Another important energy measurement is a unit’s SEER rating. Are you unfamiliar with SEER? The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measurement of how much energy your system uses to operate.
The higher your SEER rating, the less energy your system is using. Besides saving you money on your power bill, the state where you live may offer a one-time refund on the purchase of a new unit.
Your Unit’s Freon Usage
If your current AC unit uses freon, it may be time to replace it with a new one! Why? Freon is a refrigerant chemical that’s been used in air conditioner production for decades. When freon systems are low on the chemical, this often means there is a leak in the system.
While paying for freon to be pumped into your system may offer a short-term fix, if your system uses freon at all, it may be time to look elsewhere. As of January 1, 2020, the United States officially phased out the use of freon in air conditioning systems.
Since the freon is no longer being produced, it has driven up the cost of the remaining supply. This means that if you need freon now, it will be more expensive than ever before. As the supply continues to decline, this will drive up prices for it.
Consider replacing your AC unit now to avoid the expensive costs you will spend pumping freon into your old and outdated system!
Length of Home Ownership
A decision to repair or replace an AC system shouldn’t be made without considering the length of time you plan to stay in your current home. A brand new AC unit may seem like a wise financial decision. Even new, lower-cost AC units from reputable manufacturers will operate more efficiently than older systems.
This doesn’t mean that buying a new AC unit is the right decision for you. You should take a realistic look at how long you plan to live in your current home. For example, if your new system is $5,000 and you stand to save $50 per month on your power bill with the new unit, how long will it take to recoup the cost?
The answer to this question may surprise you and make you want to forego a replacement to pay for a repair!
The Decision: AC Repair vs. AC Replacement
Many different factors will go into your decision to have an AC repair or pay for a replacement. Before you begin looking at new systems, you should receive estimates from at least two or three different reputable AC companies.
These professionals will diagnose your unit’s problems and can recommend different courses of action based on your situation. After you’ve gotten those quotes, sit down with your spouse or other loved ones, and discuss the pros and cons of each one.
After you’ve decided on whether to repair or replace, do research on different units at different price points that fit your budget. You can also read online reviews to get a better idea about the good and bad points of each system. By taking the time to consider all your different options, you will be confident you are making the best choice for you and your family!
Are you looking for other ways to improve your home on a budget? Check out our blog section for a post about how to save money on your next kitchen remodel!