You may not be completely satisfied with the way your AC unit operates and even pay a technician to fix it only for it to breakdown again. This is a scenario that many homeowners encounter and it makes them wonder whether they need repair or replacement.
The decision to repair your AC should not be a debatable subject because delays in addressing teething AC unit problems may potentially worsen the condition with time. With that in mind, it is important to have a professional inspect your AC unit from time to time and be very sensitive to your ACs heartbeat. The following are some of the telltale signs that your AC may be due for repair or replacement.
The Age of the Unit
According to HVAC technicians, the age of your cooling or heating unit is a critical factor in the repair or replacement decision. The commonly used rule of thumb is the 5,000 rule. Simply stated, multiply the age of your unit by the cost of repair. 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, just repair the unit.
The advances in AC technology that are sweeping the industry have brought great enhancements in energy efficiency. As a matter of fact, Energy Star recommends that you upgrade your unit if it is 10 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, just replace it. On average, the lifespan of an AC unit is 14 years and systems older than this should be replaced.
If you have a system requiring additional refrigerant, chances are high it is having a coolant leak. Recharging an AC unit with R-22 refrigerant which is also referred to as Freon, may cost anything between $40 and $175 per pound. Fixing the leak and recharging 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. This is because a leaking AC unit can potentially destroy the compressor which may cost up to $2,000 to replace. One thing you should note is that R-22 are being phased out by 2020 and this has caused their prices to skyrocket due to increased demand for the refrigerant whose production has greatly slowed down. Replace such units with the environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant units.
If your unit keeps on breaking down even after comprehensive air conditioning repair, it may be a good idea to replace it with a properly sized and efficient AC unit. 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 cost between $3,600 and $7,200 can give you up to 20% savings on heating and cooling expenses.
To get the true picture on the condition of your AC unit, schedule an appointment with a HVAC professional.