Air Conditioning Unit: Repair vs Replace
If you are looking to replace your air conditioning unit, there are some questions you should consider: How old is the unit? What type of energy source does it use in its operation? What size unit will best suit your needs? Here we’ll explore these questions and more.
Factors That You Should consider before you decide
Below, we suggest a few things you should consider when wavering between repair and replacement.
‘Should I repair this thing or get a new one,’ you might wonder, staring at your air conditioning system. ‘Nah, I’ll get a new one. This one’s too old and banged up.’ And just like that, you’ve arrived at a decision. Judging your AC unit’s functionality based on its age is one of the most common ways to decide. And for good reason too.
As the AC unit ages, its components wear out from use. This wear reduces the unit’s efficiency, beauty, and functionality over time. If your unit has reached this point in its lifespan, you definitely need to change it.
The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is 15-20 years. This variation is based on the number of hours that it has been used, as well as its overall quality and condition. However, there are many factors that affect the lifespan of an AC unit and even slight changes in one or more of these can have a significant impact on how long your AC will last.
One of such factors happens to be how well you take care of your AC system. Taking good care of your unit involves regular filter cleaning/change. If you live in a perpetually dusty area of the world, you can expect that your HVAC’s air filter will need more frequent maintenance (in the form of cleaning) to function properly. A lack of such maintenance will leave your AC unit gasping for air every two weeks. When it gasps long enough, problems begin popping up like moles over time.
Of course, changing your filters isn’t the only way to take care of your AC unit. As you might imagine, kicking it every time you pass by isn’t good for it either. Neither is getting it wet, using it as a table, or leaving it outside to the mercies of the elements.
If you’re unsure about when your current AC was installed (or if you’ve had multiple units), ask your service technician for details about its installation so that you can plan accordingly for repair or replacement costs.
By this point, the energy consumption of your unit is natural to you. But technology improves all the time. If your unit is older, it may be less efficient and cost you more money to run. This won’t be obvious unless you talk to an expert or have a newer model installed. In fact, merely comparing the specs of your unit to those of a newer model will help you decide.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
It describes how much energy a cooling or heating system uses during the cooler months as compared with how much it consumes during the warmer months. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your air conditioner will be at cooling or heating your home in hot weather. However, there are tradeoffs associated with higher SEER units:
- They tend to cost more upfront because they’re more expensively manufactured than lower-rated ones were when they were originally purchased; also,
- They work harder, so they may require replacement parts sooner than lower-rated ones due to wear and tear. This is only slightly offset by the better quality of materials used in making them.
- As established earlier, technology is always getting better. Every new model of equipment or appliance is an improvement over the old one. Hence, newer units are going to run better than older ones. Probably while using less power, too.
Know what less power usage means? You get to save money on your utility bills. Doesn’t that make you smile?
- Newer units are quieter and easier to install, so they’ll be less likely to disrupt the peace of your home or business. Less noise pollution is always a good thing.
- Older models may have been installed improperly in the first place, so you could end up with a faulty AC system that’s harder to repair than one installed properly by professionals.
Newer units are going to be smaller and quieter. The biggest difference between replacing an old AC unit and repairing it is the size of your home. As you might have noticed with time, newer appliances will be smaller and more efficient than their older counterparts—which means they use less energy, run quieter and last longer. Generally, they’re better in every way.
Basically, if you want to get the most out of your investment, consider buying a new AC unit if:
- Your home is large enough for a bigger system (more than 2000 sq ft) that can cool multiple rooms at once;
- You have lots of windows in your home;
- You need cooling throughout your entire house; or
- It is old enough.
On the other hand, if there are no major issues with your existing system and it still functions well for its intended purpose (elevation change) then there’s no need for immediate replacement just yet!
We hope to have helped you understand some of the basic differences between air conditioning units. If your unit is old enough, it may be worth considering replacing it with a newer one. The biggest advantage to newer air conditioners is that they will run more efficiently and cost less money to run over their lifetime. In addition, newer units are going to be smaller and quieter than older ones – which means less noise for your home!
If you have difficulty deciding on repair or replacement, simply reach out to us at Precision Air Solutions for help. We can come over anytime for a consultation.
If you’ve already decided, whether it be repair or replacement, we can do that too. Our appointment booking process is as easy as technology can make it, and we’ll be at your home to work it within the week.