The thought of having to replace your air conditioner can make most people’s checkbook cringe, but the thought of constant repairs can be worse. So, how do you know when it is time to finally replace “old faithful” or when it is more cost effective to settle on a repair? In most cases, repair is your best option but eventually you will notice that you reach a point where you feel like you are constantly repairing your air conditioner and are considering a new one. Check out our checklist below to see whether you should repair or replace your home’s air conditioner.
- Your unit is 13 years or older. Then it is time to replace your unit. Although you may be able to get away with a repair for now, the repairs will continue to pop up and more often. The average air conditioner has a life span of 10 to 15 years and if your AC is in the higher age bracket, go with replace. In addition, new air conditioners are a lot more energy efficient than their 15-year-old counterparts, not to mention more efficient at cooling than they once were.
- Replace When Repair Is Too Costly. The average cost of a new air conditioner is $5,000 to $7,000 plus any necessary ductwork or installment costs. This may seem too general of a cost estimation so if your air conditioner is acting up, get a quote for a repair and a quote for replacement costs. If the cost of repair multiplied by the age of the unit (in years) is less than the replacement – go with the repair. However, if the cost of repair multiplied by the age of the AC is more than the cost of replacement – have your AC replaced.
- Your Energy Bill Keeps Rising. Looking over your bill every month, if the rates are the same and you haven’t connected 3 RV’s to your home’s breaker, then the source of the high energy cost is likely your air conditioner. It may be the wrong size for your home’s cooling or heating needs, or it may be too old and draining energy to keep up with your thermostat demands.
- Your Home Doesn’t Feel Cool or Your AC Is Always Running. Like any machine, air conditioners become less efficient over time. Moving parts wear down over time as expected but can cost you in other was. If your home does not feel evenly cooled or the temperature does not feel as cool as the thermostat is set (and there are no other signs for other issues), or your AC is always running just to maintain a simple 76 degrees, then it may be time to consider replacing your air conditioner. However, if your air conditioner is fairly new or under 10 years of age, these issues may be the sign of other problems and a repair should fix your problem.