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Are air conditioner repair bills getting you down? If so, it might be time to consider air conditioner replacement.
But then again, maybe continuing to repair your HVAC system is still the way to go, at least for a while. It isn’t always easy to tell when an old air conditioner is ready for retirement. There are several factors to consider, before you make a final decision.
If your air conditioner repair bills aren’t significant, and malfunctions are only semi-regular and not constant, repairing an ailing unit may be the more cost-effective solution. This is especially true if the unit is less than 10 years old, and if you’ve arranged for your HVAC contractor to perform annual maintenance tune-ups and inspections to keep it in good working order.
Another factor to consider is how long you plan to stay in your home. If you plan to sell within the next 1-3 years, and your air conditioner isn’t repeatedly breaking down, it might be wise to continue sinking your money into repairs rather than the substantial costs of replacement.
Air conditioner replacement may seem like a drastic step, but if you bought your old air conditioner 8-12 years ago it will allow you to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. Assuming you purchase a high-quality unit, you can expect your new air conditioner to save you 30-40 percent annually on cooling bills, which will make the initial purchase and installation expenses a lot easier to bear.
If you plan to sell your home in the next 5-7 years, replacing your air conditioner now could be a smart move, since a serious breakdown before you plan to leave could complicate your attempts to complete a deal (assuming you plan to be honest with potential buyers about the state of your HVAC system).
Regardless of the size of your air conditioner repair bills, just the fact that you have them can be enough to cause you ample consternation. If that is the case, replacing your air conditioner with a more modern unit would certainly give you peace of mind, and that is an intangible benefit you shouldn’t overlook.
When deciding whether to repair or replace, many HVAC contractors recommend their customers follow the 5,000 rule. That is, they should multiply the age of the air conditioner by the estimated cost of a particular repair, and if the final number is larger than 5,000, they should replace their old air unit rather than patching it together one more time.
So if an air conditioner is 12 years old, for example, and the estimated cost of the repairs is $450, 12×450=5,400, which would mean it was time for a change.
In general, air conditioners that are more than 10 years old and seem to need repairs at least once each year are probably costing you more than they’re worth. In the end, however, you as a homeowner must make the final call, and if your gut tells you its time to change you should probably follow that instinct.
At ABE Heating and Cooling, we know the decision whether to replace or repair a malfunctioning air conditioner is a tough one, and we are here to offer advice whenever you need us. One of our technicians will inspect your air conditioner closely and make a recommendation if you prefer, and you can rest assured they will give you an honest appraisal that can help you choose the best path.