How to Determine if Its Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Shelby stops working, it can be hard to know if it’s time for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a greater option for the long run. The answer isn’t the same for every homeowner. For instance, a system that has been well maintained could be a smarter candidate for an AC repair because it will almost certainly have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been upheld. Many other factors should be taken into account in addition to this. We’ve got some questions that can help guide you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a large factor in your choice to arrange an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Aged systems usually don’t operate as effectively as they did when they were new—and particularly not as efficiently as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could reduce your energy consumption by more than you may think if you exchange your older system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Usually, this savings will support investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can differ based on your specific equipment and how well it’s been cared for, but Energy Star proposes upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your present-day central air conditioner is greater than 10 years old.

Outside your unit’s age, look at your AC repair history. If your system has stopped working several times, it’s probable to fail again—this scenario can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you take into account possible rebates and enhanced efficiency, is a new system going to be more economical in the future?

Many professionals advise following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your equipment by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, exchange the system. If it’s less, go for the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cool enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t keeping up.
  • Are your energy bills spiking without increased usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your system is too small for your home, it can’t function properly. Likewise, if you’ve recently worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can actually be greater than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re not sure if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to get a replacement, Hopper Heating and Air can help! Our experts can help you decide how much life remains in your system and what the top option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 704-233-7363 to setup an appointment for us to come out.