You may not be delighted with how your AC unit operates and even pay a technician to fix it, only to break down again. This is a scenario that many homeowners encounter, making them wonder whether they need repair or replacement.
The decision to repair your AC should not be debatable because delays in addressing teething AC unit problems may worsen the condition with time. With that in mind, having a professional inspect your AC unit occasionally and be very sensitive to your AC heartbeat is important. The following are some telltale signs that your AC may be due for repair or replacement.
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The Age of the Unit
According to HVAC technicians, your cooling or heating unit’s age is a critical factor in the repair or replacement decision. The commonly used rule of thumb is the 5,000 rule. As stated, multiply your unit’s age by the repair cost. If the product exceeds $5,000, then it is safer and economical for you to replace the unit. Any numbers below $5,000 do not justify a replacement; repair the unit.
The AC technology advances sweeping the industry have brought great enhancements in energy efficiency. Energy Star recommends upgrading your unit if it is ten years or more with an energy-efficient one. If you have an AC unit in your home that is 15 years or older, you shouldn’t even think twice; replace it. On average, an AC unit’s lifespan is 14 years, and systems older than this should be replaced.
If you have a system requiring additional refrigerant, chances are high it has a coolant leak. Recharging an AC unit with R-22 refrigerant, referred to as Freon, may cost between $40 and $175 per pound. Fixing the leak and restoring with several pounds of the coolant may see you slammed with a bill of between $550 and $1,000.
The way forward for such a unit is to replace it. This is because a leaking AC unit can potentially destroy the compressor, which may cost up to $2,000 to replace. You should note that R-22 is being phased out by 2020, which has caused their prices to skyrocket due to increased demand for the refrigerant, whose production has greatly slowed down. Replace such units with environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant units.
If your unit keeps breaking down even after comprehensive air conditioning repair, replacing it with a properly sized and efficient AC unit may be a good idea. Such systems usually cost more in the long run than buying a new one. Energy Star estimates that buying a new energy-efficient AC unit, which typically scosts between $3,600 and $7,200, can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling expenses.
Schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional to get the true picture of your AC unit’s condition.