It’s probably on that summer afternoon when your AC starts acting up, and every glance at it gives you goosebumps, prompting you to call in the experts. Upon examining the problem, your contractor gives you two options; to repair or replace the unit. It’s a tough call, but worry not; the professionals will take you through it.
Although there’s no “right” answer for everyone, there are a few guidelines that air conditioning repair and maintenance providers use. Before you make up your mind, you have to consider several factors. Below is a list of questions you need to answer to find the best solution for your situation.
What’s the Age of Your Existing AC System?
On average, the life expectancy of an air conditioner in the United States is estimated to be 15 to 20 years. However, your unit’s lifespan can be much lower depending on where you live in San Antonio, TX. For instance, if you use the AC almost year-round, its longevity may be compromised due to high humidity levels.
The quality of the initial installation and how well the equipment is maintained may also impact the lifespan of your air conditioning system. The general rule of thumb is that if your AC has served you for at least 10 years, investing in the cost of replacing it might be a wise idea.
Of course, before that, air conditioning repair is called for. Again, if the unit is only a few years old, repairing it is a good decision as it may still be under warranty, which you’d want to take advantage of.
Is Your Current Unit Energy-Efficient?
To best answer this question, you need to know the SEER rating of your air conditioning device. Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) measures how efficiently your air conditioner is cooling your space. Essentially, the higher the rating, the less energy the system consumes.
As of January 2015, all residential air conditioners installed in the Southern United States must carry a minimum efficiency rating of at least 14 SEER. Come January 1, 2023, expect the rating to increase to 15 SEER.
If you upgrade to a model with a higher SEER – above the federally mandated 14 SEER, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save on your energy bill. You can use the SEER rating calculator to establish how much savings can accrue to you when you opt for a more efficient air conditioning apparatus. Also, saving energy benefits the environment due to reduced carbon emissions.
How Extensive Is the Damage?
Does the issue need minor repairs, such as replacing a broken capacitor or clearing a blocked drain line? If yes, the cost of fixing the air conditioning problem may be lower than the replacement.
But, suppose the amount you’re to spend on air conditioning repairs is almost half the unit’s value; in that case, a new installation would make much more sense.
The frequency at which you schedule air conditioning repairs in your home is another factor to consider when assessing the repair’s extent. If you’re calling for emergency air conditioning repair service every few months, it’s time you probably give a second thought about replacement.
Find a reliable HVAC provider in San Antonio, TX who will help you determine the estimate for your AC repair or replacement and make your decision.
Is Your Air Conditioner Still Running on Freon?
If your system was installed before 2010, chances are it’s using freon, aka R-22 or HCFC-22, the ozone-depleting substance.
Unfortunately, if you still have this type of air conditioner, it might be difficult and expensive to get spare parts in case of damage. On January 1, 2020, this refrigerant was officially phased out. This means that R-22 production or importation is prohibited in the United States.
Manufacturers are shifting to eco-friendly, organic refrigerants such as R-290 and R-717. Thus, replacing your old system now sounds like a better deal than repairing it. But of course, the decision lies with you.
Is Your Current System Matched?
When your current AC was installed, you might have replaced the outdoor or indoor unit separately. It was probably the most logical thing to do at the time, especially now that one part of the split system is still functional.
Plus, you may have saved a few bucks. However, replacing the air handler or condenser only might result in a system mismatch – the two units were not made to work in tandem – presenting a high probability of causing severe problems in the long run.
Worse still, it may even void the warranty on the new component. It’s a good idea to replace your current unit with a matched one. This could see you save a few dollars on air conditioning repairs.
Is the Existing AC Meeting Your Home Needs?
Were you satisfied with your AC’s performance before that incident that led you to contact your air conditioning repair pro in San Antonio, TX? Has the system been struggling to cope with your cooling demand?
Or have you been experiencing uneven cooling in your home? An over- or under-sized air conditioner is likely the cause.
In such a case, replacing the unit seems a better option than repairing it. You could even opt for the newest air conditioning technologies, such as the zoned systems, for increased comfort and efficiency.
Are You Selling Your House? Or How Long Do You Plan to Live in Your Home?
For those planning to sell their homes, replacing the old air conditioning equipment with a new one will improve your home’s sale value.
On the other hand, if you’re moving soon, a replacement may be the last thing you may consider since you won’t be around long enough to enjoy the benefits of the new AC. So, if the repair isn’t too extensive and your device has been in reliable condition, you may go for air conditioning repair.
The Choice Is Yours!
Whether you need air conditioning repair or are convinced you need a new unit, contact us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio – your reliable partner. We also handle plumbing services. Call us or schedule online.