The question of whether or not you should hire out for air conditioning repair or installation can be a tough one. Even though most air conditioners last an average of 12-17 years, they can still have issues that plague them well before that expiration date. When you get to that point, the question is, is it worth it to keep paying for repairs or should you fork over the money for a brand new unit?
Fortunately, there are a few indications that can help you make that decision. Below are some questions to ask yourself as you do an inspection of your HVAC unit.
How Often Does the AC Need to Be Repaired?
Air conditioning repair is inevitable. If your house lasts long enough, eventually the compressor will go out, or you'll need to replace the refrigerant, or you'll have to fix an air duct that has collapsed. While one or two a year can be tolerable, if you find yourself calling the HVAC tech every few months, it might be worth it to simply replace the entire unit. Air conditioning installation can cost upwards of $7,000, but constant repair bills can add up in a hurry. If you find yourself reaching that threshold, ask your air conditioning repair professional for a price to simply replace the entire unit.
How Much Is the Repair?
In some cases, you may not be looking at a lot of repairs as much as you are one single repair that can cost a bundle. While you may be willing to stomach that one-time cost, a good rule of thumb is that if the repair is more than 50% of the price of a replacement (anywhere from $1,500-3,500), it's going to cost you less over time to simply replace it. With a new air conditioning installation comes the added benefit of additional warranties that can cover the cost of future repairs.
How Old Is the Unit?
If you built a new home, you should know how old your air conditioning unit is; if you bought it used, consult your paperwork. If you find that your unit is approaching the ten-year mark, or is past it, consider replacing it entirely. As the unit ages, the frequency of your repairs will increase. Replacing it ensures you have a sound unit that can last a lot longer, plus you'll be able to take care of more energy-efficient features that are available in newer models.
For more information on air conditioning repair and installation, reach out to a local HVAC technician.