With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching, deciding whether it is time to repair or replace an air conditioner is a crucial and time-sensitive task. Your chosen AC repair company may be much busier during the summer months, and no one wants to be stuck in a house without air conditioning when the weather starts getting really hot, humid, and uncomfortable! Since HVAC units can be quite costly to replace, it’s prudent to assess the need for repair or replacement with help from a reliable AC repair company. Professional technicians can evaluate your air conditioning system, quickly determine if an issue has an easy, cost-effective fix, and provide advice about whether it’s really time to consider an AC replacement.
Is it time to repair or replace your air conditioner?
Most professionals will tell you that central air conditioners have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, depending on their usage. HVAC systems approaching this age tend to be less efficient and cause higher cooling and heating bills. Your seasonal energy efficiency ratio can be used to determine if your air conditioner is in need of replacement. If the efficiency has notably declined year-on-year, despite maintenance, your air conditioner repair company will often recommend a replacement.
One way to help calculate, in terms of expenditure, whether it’s the right time to use your AC repair company to finally replace your unit is to utilize the $5,000 rule.
To avoid spending unnecessary money on a cooling system replacement, you should first confirm the cost of repairs for your AC unit before you commit to replacing it completely. You could need to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on repairs. To help you make this decision, you can multiply the HVAC unit’s age by the cost of repair. If the figure is more than $5,000, it’s likely that money could be better spent on replacement rather than repairs. Here are some examples:
Example 1: Evaporator Coil Repair vs Unit Replacement
Replacing an evaporator coil will cost approximately $1,000 if you combine labor costs and the cost of the part. Some coils will be cheaper than others, depending on if the coil is encased, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $2,000 to replace such an integral component. If the AC unit is only 2 years old, spending $1,000 on an evaporator coil replacement is far more practical than replacing the unit. However, if the unit is 10 years old, it would be a different story.
According to the $5,000 rule:
$1,000 cost of repair x 2 years old = $2,000
$1,000 cost of repair x 10 years old = $10,000
In this scenario, it would be recommended by an AC repair company to repair the 2-year-old unit, and replace the decade-old unit. Of course, you need to take into consideration whether part warranties apply. If outside of warranty, you’ll be paying for parts as well as labor costs. If under warranty, labor costs might only apply.
Example 2: Condenser Fan Motor Repair vs Unit Replacement
Replacing a condenser fan motor through an AC repair company is a much less expensive task, costing only $400 on average. In some cases, you might only need to pay labor costs to an AC repair company technician, so the repairs are even less expensive.
According to the $5,000 rule:
$400 cost of repair x 2 years old = $800
$400 cost of repair x 12 years old = $4,800
In this scenario, if it’s only the condenser motor that requires replacement, it would still be prudent to consider keeping your existing AC running rather than opting for a full unit replacement.
Example 3: Air Compressor Repair vs Unit Replacement
The average repair cost for an air conditioner’s compressor is between $600 and $1,200 if the parts are under warranty. If not under warranty, it may cost between $1,300 and $2,500 to have this vital component replaced.
According to the $5,000 rule, if under warranty:
$600 cost of repair x 3 years old = $1,800
$1,200 cost of repairs x 3 years old = $3,600
According to the $5,000 rule, if not under warranty:
$1,300 cost of repair x 3 years old = $3,900
$2,500 cost of repair x 3 years old = $7,500
As you can see, even if you have a newer AC installation, sometimes it can be more practical to replace the entire unit if a vital component fails. With older units, even under warranty, it’s practical to consider a full unit replacement when a vital component requires a service from an AC repair company.
A Matter of Efficiency
When deciding whether to repair or replace your AC unit in The Woodlands, TX, it is important to check the efficiency output. You might wish to consider replacing your existing unit with an energy-saving option if its energy efficiency is not very good. These long-term savings could offset the higher price of buying a new unit, even if your existing unit does not require regular, costly repairs.
A properly functioning air conditioner is essential to enjoy cool breezes and relief from the heat during TX summers. It is important to have your HVAC unit checked by an AC repair company on a regular basis, especially if it is noisy, less efficient than usual, or exhibiting other problematic symptoms.
This type of work can be difficult, especially for people not experienced with HVAC systems. Technicians at Mr. Reliable Heating & Air have years of experience in dealing with issues that arise with AC units in The Woodlands, TX.
Mr. Reliable Heating & Air is an AC repair company that offers a variety of cooling services, including repair, installation, and maintenance. Professional technicians at Mr. Reliable Heating & Air can repair or replace a wide variety of air conditioning installations at your property in The Woodlands, TX. Schedule an appointment to address any issues with your current AC today.
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