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

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Heflin stops working, it can be difficult to know if it’s an occasion for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long run. The answer isn’t identical for every homeowner. E.g., a system that has been serviced regularly could be a better candidate for an AC repair because it will probably have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other factors should be considered on top of to this. We’ve got some questions that can help direct you.

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

The age of your air conditioner is a huge factor in your verdict to call for an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Aged systems usually don’t function as efficiently as they did when they were new—and particularly not as effectively as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could decrease your energy consumption by more than you may think if you replace your older system with a new, energy-efficient unit. In many circumstances, this savings will rationalize investment in a replacement system.

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

Beyond your unit’s age, look at your AC repair history. If your system has failed a few times, it’s likely to fail again—this situation can end up costing you more money in the future. When you take into account possible rebates and enhanced efficiency, is a new system going to be more lucrative over time?

Many professionals recommend following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your system by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, replace the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house comfortable enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t working properly.
  • Are your energy bills increasing without increased usage? This is a sign that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t do its job. Just the same, if you’ve recently taken measures to make your home more energy efficient, your system can in fact be larger than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re unclear about if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to consider a replacement, Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc can help! Our experts can help you decide how much life lingers in your system and what the top option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 256-270-1196 to setup an appointment for us to check it out.