One of the biggest decisions you’ll face as a homeowner is when to throw in the towel and call for an air conditioner replacement. On the one hand, air conditioner replacement is a big investment. On the other, operating an old, inefficient unit may be costing you hundreds of dollars every year. Keep reading for air conditioning tips on knowing whether you should repair or replace your system.
In recent years, air conditioner technology has seen some big changes. For example, in 2010, manufacturers began using a new type of refrigerant that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer. Today’s air conditioners are also more efficient than they were a decade ago, which means homeowners spend less on their monthly energy bills, even in the hottest months.
Particularly if your unit is over ten years old, it’s inevitable that you will need to replace it within the next few years. If you’re facing an expensive repair, then it would probably make more sense to simply put that money towards a new air conditioning unit.
Operating an a/c unit with a low SEER rating costs a lot of money. Today’s models are required to have a SEER rating of at least 14. If the efficiency of your unit is below that, then it may be time for an upgrade. In some cases, a newer, more efficient unit can cut your energy bill by as much as 20 percent.
Do you have a difficult time keeping your home comfortably cool during the summer months? If so, that may indicate that your air conditioner is getting too old or may not even be the right size for your home.
To determine whether your air conditioner should be repaired or replaced, use the 5,000 rule. Multiply the age of the equipment by the total repair cost. If that number is less than $5,000, then it’s in your best interest to repair. For example, an eight-year-old unit with a $450 repair totals $3,600, meaning that in that instance, a repair is likely the wisest solution.
When your energy bills start to rise for no apparent reason, it may be time to replace your unit. While a call to your local air conditioning specialist is the first call to make, this may be the first sign that a new air conditioning unit is in your near future.
At Morrison Plumbing, Heating and Air, our experts can evaluate your unit and help you decide whether repairing or replacing your air conditioner is right for you.