Repair VS. Replacing Your A/C System

17 Oct

Your A/C unit just went out for the 3rd time in this year and you ask yourself, “When is it time for me to replace my system?”  The decision whether to repair or replace a system is based on what is in your best interest.  However don’t be pressured into making a quick decision, some companies will offer a solution as to what is most convenient or what is going to make them the most momey.

When deciding to repair or replace, there are three main factors to consider.  These factors are current condition of the system, life expectancy, and efficiency.  If any of these issues are posing problems with your system it may be time to consider replacing it.  If two or more are problems then replacing your system would be your best decision.

In regards to current condition of your system consider these factors: quality of the equipment (brand, builders grade, etc), how often the system is maintenanced, and the number of times your system breaks down.  If the system hasn’t been maintenanced like it should or if it is breaking down constantly, it is probably time to consider replacement.  If the system wasn’t the greatest unit to begin with it might be time to replace it.  You’ll never make a system better than it was without putting a lot of money into it.

The life expectancy of a unit is about 8 – 12 years.  After that, they become expensive to repair and will start to break down often.  Also, its going to be harder to find parts for that old of a system as they become discontinued.  If you are near the ocean you can expect the systems life span to be shorter due to corrosion from the salt.  Most manufacturers only warranty systems between 5-10 years.  And generally, this only includes parts, not labor to replace it.  If your system is hitting the 8 year mark or more and your having problems with your system, it is probably time to replace it.

This day and age everything is about efficiency.  How well something performs with a miniumum of energy to accomplish it.  No matter how much money you put into your old system, it will only be as efficient as it was when it was manufactured at best.  Older units have a much less efficiency rating than newer ones due to the constant improving and increasing energy standards that the government imposes.  You could see up to 60% of savings on your electric bill when your replace your system with high efficiency equipment.  A lot of times installing a new a/c system can pay for itself in a relatively short amount of time.

So the next time your a/c goes out, consider these factors and decide whether it’s worth it to pay for repair or if in the end it will be better to replace it.

Melissa Bott

HVAC Project Coordinator

Tropical Air of Central FL


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