AC Repair vs. Replacement – Which is More Cost-Effective?

AC Repair vs. Replacement – Which is More Cost-Effective?

A/C Repair vs Replacement

When you face serious issues with your home’s air conditioner, you’ll be forced to make a big decision that has plagued homeowners for years and seldom an easy one to answer. However, by considering a few details, you can make an informed decision that’ll be good for your home’s comfort levels and budget in the coming years. Find the answers you need to the air conditioning repair replacement debate once and for all by considering a few key details regarding your system:

The Age of the System

While air conditioners are usually built to last, they all have their limits. When a unit gets too old, not only is it likely to encounter problems that need to be repaired continually, but it’s likely not operating at anything nearing peak efficiency, either. If your AC unit is over ten years old, it’s time to begin at least closely considering the possibility of a full air conditioner replacement in Phoenix, AZ, soon. It might cost more upfront, but it will save you money on both repairs and operating costs in the coming years.

The Cost of Repairs

The first thing you’ll need to do to make the right decision of whether to repair or replace your system is to get a quote on the expected cost of the repairs. Serious AC repair work in Phoenix is expected to be expensive in many cases, but following the 5,000 rule can help you determine if the price of the repairs is genuinely worth it or not. This formula, used by some HVAC companies, involves taking the expected cost of the repairs and multiplying them by the system’s age. If the result is over 5,000, it’s likely better to invest in a replacement instead. For example, a unit that’s ten years old and in need of repairs valued at $450 would have a score of $4,500 under this model, meaning it’s a good idea to repair. However, a unit that’s 12 years old and in need of $600 worth of repairs would net a score of 6,000, meaning that replacement would likely be the best idea. It’s a simple formula that considers both the cost of repairs and the dwindling longevity of an old system to make the decision easier.

The Frequency of AC Issues

While the 5,000 rule is generally reliable, you may need to deviate from it in some cases. Your system may need small repairs that place its score far below the 5,000 thresholds but have relatively frequent issues that add up over time, eventually costing you more than simply replacing your system altogether. Suppose your system breaks down several times within the span of a few years. In that case, this is an indicator that it’s unable to handle the strain of operating during the most intense seasons and that replacement may be a better option. However, if you’re only dealing with minor repairs every now and again, repairing your current unit makes more sense financially.

The Noise Your System Makes

Almost every air conditioner make some sort of noise while it operates. Fans, condensers and air intakes all generate some noise, but there is such a thing as a system being too loud. If your system has become unbearably loud, it’s likely begun to overexert itself to keep your home cool during those sweltering Arizona days. This overexertion leads to a wide range of other issues, including:

  • Short cycling
  • Accelerated equipment wear and tear
  • Higher monthly energy bills

Typically, this overexertion and the noise it causes can be repaired and prevented by setting up and following an annual maintenance plan designed to keep stress on the system as low as possible. Generally, a simple noisy unit isn’t grounds for a full replacement unless other, more serious underlying issues are present.

The Inability to Maintain Even Temperatures

Suppose even after regular maintenance and minor repairs, your system cannot maintain even, consistent temperatures throughout your home. In that case, likely, it’s simply no longer up to the task. While upgrading your heating and cooling power via a brand new system will almost definitely get the job done, be sure to speak with your chosen HVAC professionals in Phoenix first. You could be dealing with damaged ductwork or other issues that can’t be fixed by simply replacing your existing system.

The Final Decision

Even using these criteria to assess your situation, choosing between repairing and replacing your air conditioner can be tough. When in doubt, always reach out to the professionals for their input on your situation. Contact Howard Air to review your current system and recommendations on how best to solve your air conditioning issues in a financially responsible and forward-thinking manner.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / David Spates

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