Should I Replace My Home Central AC System or Repair It?

Jun 30, 2011

Your AC system has gone out and you are struggling to decide what to do. Should you call someone out to do an AC repair, or should you replace the whole system? It is not easy to decide when temperatures have soared, the kids are whining because of the heat and you just want to cool down. Paying a repairman may seem like the better option, but it could cost you more in the long run, especially if you have an older and inefficient unit. Several factors need to be taken into consideration before you make a decision.

First, how old is your unit?

Most AC systems will last for 15 years or more if proper AC maintenance has been performed, but the government now recommends that you replace units that are more than 10 years old. This is because great strides have been made in energy efficiency during the last few years and a new unit could save you up to 50% on your electricity bill. Newer units also work better and are quieter.

Secondly, how much is the repair going to cost?

Most companies that focus on AC repair or AC maintenance will give you a free estimate. If the repair is more than $750 it may be time to consider replacing the unit. Even if the repair is fairly inexpensive it might save you money in the long run to replace your current unit now instead of waiting for something more expensive to break.

Third, how much will it cost to replace the AC unit?

This is also important, and most heating and cooling companies will give you free quotes on replacement units. In many cases it might not cost much more than the repair bill.

Fourth, how well does your system run?
If your current AC doesn’t perform well or you are unsatisfied with it for some other reason, now is probably a good time to go ahead and replace it. You will save money over time and be much more satisfied with a new unit.

Finally, how often is the system used?

If you live in an area where the AC isn’t needed that often, repairing it may be the smarter way to go, but if you live in an area like the Deep South, you want the best performing unit you can find and it might be wise to upgrade while you have the chance.

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