Air Conditioner Repair vs Replacement – Which is Best
Since your HVAC system is aging (they all are), you will face a decision sometime in the future that determines if air conditioner repair is adequate or will you need to replace it. Most homeowners have inadequate information to help them make that decision.
Let us offer an analogy that will make it a little clearer. Consider your HVAC as a living creature, a pet of sorts. How you care for your HVAC will determine how long it will function and when it will need to be replaced. Let’s look at two scenarios:
An HVAC provides comfortable and healthy air for many years, but it requires maintenance and care, not unlike a pet. What type of care does an HVAC system need?
- An HVAC system needs periodic cleaning for all of its system components, both inside and out. The most important cleaning function is changing the air filter regularly, at least every three months.
- Not unlike a visit to the vet, an HVAC system needs a regular checkup from a professional. A checkup will detect minor problems before they become major problems.
- With adequate care, an HVAC system can last for years. No one can guarantee results, but a well-cared-for system has been known to last 20+ years.
Consider a different scenario, with an HVAC being neglected without proper care.
- When an HVAC system is not cleaned properly, predictable problems develop.
- A consistently dirty and clogged filter places stress on the entire system. The blower motor and other mechanical parts will need to work harder
- Dust can encourage the growth of algae or mold in the evaporator chamber and in the drain pan. This will lead to clogs in the drain line that will result in water leaking out of the HVAC cabinet.
- Dust and debris allowed to clog the air passages in the outdoor condenser unit will eventually cause the condenser motor to overheat. The replacement cost for the condenser motor will necessitate replacing the entire AC system.
- Without regular checkups, expect the frequency and costs of repair to increase over time.
- A poorly maintained HVAC system will have a reduced useful “life.” No one can guarantee results, but a poorly cared-for system will need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years.
Beyond this analogy, a few facts will help you make your decision.
- All HVAC systems will need to be replaced eventually, no matter how well you maintain them.
- An aging HVAC system will be less energy-efficient and cost more money to heat and cool your home.
- Heating and cooling technology are advancing quickly. A new system will reduce your utility payments each month and you will notice the difference.
- Refrigerant gases are responsible for moving heat in order to provide heating and cooling. Some refrigerant gases have been determined to be unfriendly to the environment. Their use has been discontinued and a few are no longer available. If your system uses an older refrigerant gas, this might necessitate replacing the system.
- New thermostat technology allows you to schedule regular temperature changes to improve comfort and reduce energy costs. SMART thermostats even connect to cell phones and allow temperature changes while on the go.
- Check with your HVAC profession concerning financial incentives from Federal, state, or local government agencies.
Need help with the AC Repair vs Replacement question?
Northwind Air Conditioning and Heat can help with Air Conditioner Repair or to schedule a HVAC maintenance appointment. Contact us and get the answers you need.