It’s a question every homeowner asks after they’ve had their air conditioner for a few years.
Should I pay for the repairs, or should I replace my air conditioner altogether?
The decision comes down to one key factor: what makes the most sense financially?
There are some ways to tell which option is going to save you the most at the end of the day.
First, Ask Yourself: Will a Repair Do?
Sometimes all your AC needs is a little attention – and the younger your air conditioner is, the more getting repairs makes sense.
You’ll find this chart extremely helpful in determining if a repair is the way to go.
Let’s test it out.
First, consult the tag on your air conditioner, or your paperwork on the installation: this will tell you the year your AC was manufactured and when it was installed. Let’s say for example it’s 8-years-old.
Next, refer to the quote you received for repair services. For this example, let’s use $575.
According to this chart, a repair cost of $750 or lower for an 8-year old AC is the most cost-effective solution. In this case, a repair will give you the best return on your investment.
When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?
There are a few key ways you’ll know it’s time for an upgrade.
1. When It Reaches a Certain Age
Unlike wine and cheese, an air conditioner unfortunately does not get better with age.
An older, well-maintained air conditioner will still work, but it can’t compete with the new, more efficient air conditioners for energy savings (more on that below). Eventually, it will make more sense to upgrade than to keep using your old AC.
That magic age? Approximately 10 years old.
Whether you have a central or ductless air conditioner, once your cooling system turns 10, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
Remember: With proper care, some air conditioners can last as long as 15-20 years, and still work well. So don’t immediately replace your AC without talking to a technician first. You’re AC could be in great shape, and stick around for a few more years.
2. When The Bills Are Too High
Electricity isn’t free – although wouldn’t that be nice?
New air conditioners are available that are more efficient than ever before. The higher the SEER rating on the AC, the lower your monthly energy bills – and everyone likes the sound of that. Talk to your technician about the SEER of your existing air conditioner vs. what’s available now. Lower energy bills will quickly balance out the initial upfront cost of an upgrade.
Aside from overall efficiency potential, there’s the actual efficiency your air conditioner can achieve. As air conditioners age, they naturally become a bit less efficient, especially if they are not maintained. You will notice some slight changes in your bills.
But when you start noticing big spikes in your air conditioning costs each month, you should think about an upgrade. Otherwise you’re essentially wasting money, when you could be cooling your home for a lot less.
3. When You Have to Get Repairs Constantly
It’s not only electricity bills that will go up with an older furnace – it’s repair costs, too.
The occasional repair is completely normal. Your air conditioner is moving and working, so it’s natural that it will need a repair now and then.
But multiple repairs a summer are definitely not good. Not only do these repairs add up, but it signals that there’s a bigger problem with your air conditioner.
4. When Your Indoor Air Is Hot and Muggy
You know the feeling.
That sticky, hot, wet feeling that goes hand-in-hand with high humidity levels.
An air conditioner will naturally dehumidify the air in your home – but an air conditioner that doesn’t work properly anymore will create a muggy, swamp-like atmosphere.
The higher your humidity levels, the more likely your home will become infested with mold and mildew. This is terrible for your home’s structure, and for your health.
If you aren’t using a dehumidifier, you’ll notice when your air conditioner stops performing as usual. Our techs will use their experience and knowledge to make their recommendations about your next steps.
5. When It’s Noisy
Today’s air conditioners can be extremely quiet. When they’re working, most people are hardly able to hear them unless they’re standing beside the outdoor unit.
But if you’re noticing more noise than usual – especially extremely odd noises – this signals an internal problem with your system. That could mean an upgrade.
Whatever the outcome, unusual noises are a sign that you should call us.
6. When You’re Not as Comfortable As You Want to Be
If you’re air conditioner is on, but you have uneven warmer and colder spots around you home, it could be that your AC isn’t sized correctly.
The newer air conditioners come with more operating speeds, so they can cool more evenly as well as more efficiently. Ask one of our technicians their opinion on whether your AC is right for your home.
Ottawa Home Services Can Make Replacing Your Air Conditioner Easy – and Affordable
Replacing your air conditioner can be easier than you think.
We also have team members dedicated to helping you find the right air conditioner, making the entire selection process smoother. You’ll actually look forward to picking out your air conditioner – and you’ll be over the moon when feel that first puff of cool air after we install it.