Air Conditioner Replacement or Repairs?
One of the hardest financial decisions you’ll make as a homeowner is whether to repair or replace key appliances around your home. An air conditioner replacement can be a particularly expensive investment to make.
How do you know whether repairs or a full replacement is the right choice for you? The simple answer is to contact the professional HVAC team at Texas Ace Heating and Air for a no-obligation consultation.
If you’re not quite ready to call in a technician, here are some common questions to ask yourself when considering whether your HVAC system needs replaced or just repaired:
Is Your AC Unit Safe?
When it comes to deciding on HVAC repairs vs. replacement, your primary consideration should be safety. If your heating or cooling system is a safety hazard, then a replacement is likely the right choice for you. While some safety hazards can be repaired, these repairs are often a temporary (and costly) solution.
For simple repairs such as faulty wiring or worn-out components, a simple repair should be enough to get your system back up and running safely. However, for larger issues such as a cracked heat exchanger, a replacement is often the safest and most cost-effective solution long term. In the example of a cracked heating element, a replacement is the safest and simplest way to mitigate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Of course, the best and most effective way to tell whether your HVAC system is safe is to call in the professionals. A full inspection will pinpoint any safety hazards present in your system.
Will the Repairs Cost More than 1/2 the Price of an Upgrade?
So long as your AC is relatively new, it will often make more sense to repair it than to replace it. As a general rule of thumb, the older your HVAC system is, the higher the repair bill will be. This is because older systems have more wear and tear and could have multiple issues needing to be addressed.
A good question to ask yourself is whether the cost of repairs is more than 1/2 the price of an upgrade. If the answer is yes, then a replacement is again likely the smartest move. Repairs don’t get cheaper over time! If you’re shelling out more than 1/2 the cost of a new system just to get yours back up and running, it may be worth investing in a new, reliable, and warrantied system.
The “5,000 Rule” is a useful general guide to use when deciding between replacement and repairs. Multiply the age of your HVAC system with the cost of repairs. If the total is more than $5,000 then a replacement is likely the right choice.
12-year-old system x $600 repair
12 x 600 = $7,200
(this system should likely be replaced to prevent more costly repairs in the future)
5-year-old system x $600 repair
5 x 600 = $3,000
(repairs are probably the best choice – plus the system should still be under warranty at 5 years old!)
Is Your Air Conditioner More Than 10 Years Old?
There are a few reasons why 10 years is the recommended time frame for replacing your HVAC system. It’s true that well-maintained air conditioners can last up to 15 years. However, their efficiency decreases with age — even if they’re well taken care of. Even if you’ve owned your home for 10 years, you have no way of knowing for certain how well the HVAC system was maintained before you moved in. Finally, most manufacturers’ warranties are good for up to 10 years, and usually only with proof of twice-yearly maintenance. If your warranty is no longer valid and your system is over 10 years old, you can expect to pay any repair costs out of pocket.
Investing in a new system gets you 10 or more years of warranty coverage. Plus, Texas Ace offers preventative maintenance packages to help keep your system under warranty and in good running condition. If you’re still hesitant to spend money on an air conditioner replacement, just consider it an investment in your home that will pay itself off over time!