Should I Repair or Replace My A/C Unit?

Should I Repair or Replace My A/C Unit

An air conditioner on the fritz can be a serious issue if you live in Texas. If you’re like many homeowners, it may be tough for you to determine whether you should get it repaired or replaced.

When you call in an HVAC technician, you’ll get their opinion on whether repair or replacement is the correct option. However, sometimes, it can feel like replacement — the more expensive option — is being pushed on you when repairs might be acceptable. In other cases, the technician may advise you that a replacement now will save you money over time. So is it really best to move ahead with an AC unit replacement or will a repair work just fine? Consider these 5 factors to help you decide.

1. The Age of Your AC Unit

How old is your existing AC unit? There isn’t an air conditioner in the world that’s built to last forever, and residential units have an average lifespan of about 10–15 years. If your air conditioner is approaching the last leg of its life — or if it’s already older than 15 years — it’s time to start thinking about getting a replacement.

While you can certainly opt to take the repair route for a seriously aged air conditioner, you’re likely to encounter issues again soon. This may end up costing you a lot over time in repairs, and if the breakdown stops the flow of cold air, you could be without cooling on a hot North Texas summer day. Even if your older unit isn’t showing obvious problems, it may be running less efficiently, thus running up your electricity bills. 

Ultimately, an older unit will need replacement soon anyway. It’s likely better to make that investment sooner rather than later.  

2. Frequency of Repairs

Does your AC unit seem to have problems all the time? How often are you paying for service that only seems to provide a temporary solution? If you feel like you’re calling the AC repair guys way too often, you’re probably right. 

A unit that requires professional attention all the time isn’t doing you any favors, and it’s likely costing you a lot more than it should. For lasting performance, it’s typically best to opt for AC replacement if you’re paying for repairs on a regular basis. 

3. Cost of AC Repair vs. AC Replacement

Obviously, the upfront cost of AC repairs will always be less expensive than the upfront cost of replacing the unit. But when you compare the cost of repairs against the cost of replacement, you don’t just consider the immediate expense; you consider the long-term, projected costs. 

Here’s how to figure out whether repairing or replacing your air conditioner will end up being the more cost-effective choice in the long run:

  1. Contact an AC repair specialist to get a unit inspection and an estimate for repairs. 
  2. Multiply the age of your AC unit in years by the dollar amount on your repair quote.
  3. If the resulting sum exceeds $5,000, it’s likely in your best interest to replace the unit. 

Another super simple way to figure this out is to determine the cost of getting a new unit. If your repair quote equals or exceeds 50% of the cost of a replacement, repairs aren’t the best long-term option as you’ll likely be dealing with problems again in the future. 

4. The Type of Coolant Your Unit Uses

If you have an older air conditioner that still operates on R22, HCFC-22, or Freon, you’re behind the times. As of January 1, 2020, all of these refrigerants were officially phased out due to their negative impact on the environment. If your unit ever develops a leak, the only way to recharge it is to add in recycled (and expensive) R22. 

While you don’t necessarily need to replace the unit now, it’s definitely something to consider. Opting for a new, more eco-friendly unit can yield you savings on your taxes and prevent you from needing ozone-damaging, recycled refrigerant if you ever need an AC recharge. 

5. Your Monthly Energy Expenses

Does your air conditioner fail to cool your home adequately, despite the fact that you maintain it well? Have your energy bills gotten out of control? If so, it’s time to seriously consider replacing the unit. While AC repairs might provide a temporary fix, there’s a good chance the issue will return. When a unit becomes so inefficient that it causes a noticeable increase in your cooling bills, that’s a sign it’s getting too old to continue performing well. 

Replacing the unit now will help you avoid paying for multiple repairs down the road. Perhaps even more importantly, getting a new unit before summer arrives will ensure your home stays comfortable throughout the hottest months of the year. If your AC is on the fritz, get in touch with our team at Metro Express Service in Carrollton! We specialize in AC repair, replacement, and installation, along with a wide variety of other HVAC services for Dallas/Fort Worth residents. To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at (972) 263-2500 or send us a message, and we’ll get back to you promptly.