If you own a home long enough, you’re going to have to repair or replace your AC unit. Guaranteed. However, we all know that a properly functioning air conditioning system is worth any maintenance and repair. Living in cool comfort all summer is priceless. And if your AC works well, you’ll save money on energy and upkeep. To that end, here are the main things to consider when replacing or repairing your AC unit.
Remember: Things to Consider When Replacing or Repairing Your AC Unit
Trying to decide what’s best to do? Should you repair or replace the entire system? Take these things into account. You’ll benefit from looking at the question through this grid of things to consider when replacing or repairing your AC unit.
1. Weird Noises
If you hear abnormal noises coming from your vents, they likely originate with the AC condenser. It’s a repairable part—most of the time. However, you may want to explore having it replaced if the system is getting along in years.
2. AC Unit Age
Depending on conditions and maintenance, your AC unit should last 10-14 years. That’s the average. So, how old is your unit? We’ve put it second, but age could be your first question. Paying for major repairs may not be worth it for a unit that’s on its last legs.
However, that’s not the only way to look at age. Keep reading.
3. Repair Cost Compared to Replacement
Replacing an old unit can cost a lot of money. If your wallet needs a break, you may want to consider repair—up to a point. However, that point can be hard to put a finger on.
Here’s how you can approach it: think $5,000. In other words, follow this equation:
- If the unit’s age
- Multiplied by the repair cost
- Is greater than $5,000
- Then consider replacing the unit
For instance, spending $700 to repair a 10-year-old unit may be money down the drain. However, repair may make sense if “Age X Repair Cost” is less than $5,000.
In addition, you’ll want to remember that repairing may be economical in the short run. But replacement could be better long-term.
And, now that we’re talking about energy-efficiency….
4. SEER Rating
Heating and air pros classify energy-efficient AC units by SEER—the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a number that indicates how well a system cools and how much energy it saves in doing so. When considering a new unit, you’ll see ratings between 14 and 25. The higher the number, the more efficient the system.
Chattanooga is hot and humid. That means you could save a lot with a higher SEER unit because it’ll constantly be running.
5. Airflow Improvements
Struggling to decide between repair and replacement? This may help—newer AC systems benefit you in more ways than just reliability. In fact, a newer unit will provide better airflow in general. Your air quality will get better simply by being cycled through the system (and its filters) more frequently. Say goodbye to stale air.
6. Refrigerant Type (R-22 Ban!)
Newsflash: R-22 refrigerant will no longer legal to produce after January 1, 2020. Which means, if we will only have remaining supplies available and no one knows how long it will last or how much it will cost (This refrigerant was commonly used in systems manufactured before 2010).
However, a replacement is in line: R-410A. This newer refrigerant is made from synthetic oil. That makes it better for residential use (and for the ozone layer). It also keeps your compressor running longer by efficiently cutting down on deterioration over time.
Since you won’t find R-22 in a new AC system, replacing your older unit is a benefit. The coils will absorb and release heat more efficiently. In addition, your compressor will keep running for the long haul.
Chattanooga Heating and Air
Do you think your AC system needs help? Of all things to consider when replacing or repairing your AC unit, the most important is this: who will do the work? You need a heating and air pro you can trust. Licensed, bonded, insured … and experienced. Just Call Dale’s. Our technicians have been trained to diagnose and repair every problem. Call (423) 509-8787 or schedule your appointment online today.