Repair or Replace your Air Conditioning Unit? Follow This Guide to Make the Right Decision
When your air conditioning unit is not functioning correctly, it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. You may be faced with the dilemma of whether to repair or replace your unit. It can be a tough decision to make, especially when considering the cost of a new unit. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of AC repair versus AC replacement, as well as how to determine when it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit.
Common AC IssuesBefore deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioning unit, let’s identify common issues that may arise with your system. Some common air conditioners issues include:
Poor AirflowPoor airflow in air conditioning units can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a dirty or clogged air filter, a malfunctioning fan, or blocked ductwork. When airflow is restricted, your unit may not be able to cool your home effectively, resulting in increased energy bills and decreased comfort.
Refrigerant LeaksHVAC refrigerant leaks can be a serious issue that affects the performance of your air conditioning unit. Refrigerant is the substance that cools the air in your unit. If it is leaking, it can result in decreased cooling capacity and increased energy bills. In addition, refrigerant leaks can cause damage to the environment if they are not addressed promptly. Signs of a refrigerant leak include low air output, hissing or bubbling sounds, and frozen coils.
Dirty or Clogged FiltersDirty or clogged air filters are one of the most common issues that affect the performance of HVAC units. Over time, air filters can become clogged with dust, dirt, and debris, restricting airflow and reducing the efficiency of your unit. This can result in higher energy bills and decreased comfort levels in your home. Dirty air filters can also contribute to poor indoor air quality and exacerbate allergies or respiratory issues.
Compressor FailureThe compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant and compressing it to provide cool air to your home. When the compressor fails, it can result in decreased cooling capacity or no cooling at all. Common signs of compressor failure include strange noises, warm air blowing from vents, and high energy bills.
Low-Cost AC RepairsIf your air conditioning unit is not working as efficiently as it used to, you may be wondering if there are any low-cost repair options available. The good news is that there are several low-cost AC repairs that can help improve the performance of your unit and avoid costly replacements. Here are some common low-cost AC repairs:
Cleaning or Replacing the Air FilterDirty or clogged air filters can restrict airflow and cause your unit to work harder, resulting in decreased efficiency and higher energy bills. Cleaning or replacing the air filter is a quick and low-cost repair that can improve the performance of your unit.
Replacing the ThermostatA faulty thermostat can cause your unit to work inefficiently or not at all. Replacing the thermostat is a relatively low-cost repair that can improve the temperature control of your unit.
Cleaning the Evaporator CoilA dirty or clogged evaporator coil can restrict airflow and cause your unit to work harder. Cleaning the evaporator coil is a low-cost repair that can improve the efficiency of your unit. While low-cost repairs can be effective in some cases, they may not always be the best option. Some repairs may require more extensive work or may not be as cost-effective in the long run. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit altogether.
Lifespan of AC UnitsThe lifespan of an air conditioning unit depends on several factors, including the manufacturer, model, and how well it is maintained. On average, air conditioning units can last between 10 to 15 years. However, some units may last longer or shorter depending on the frequency of use and the environment in which it operates. Two main factors affect the lifespan of your AC unit.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your AC unit by keeping it running efficiently and preventing more costly repairs. This includes changing the air filter, cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, and checking for refrigerant leaks.
- Environment: The environment in which the unit operates can also affect its lifespan. Units that operate in areas with extreme heat, high humidity, or corrosive environments may have a shorter lifespan due to increased wear and tear on the components.
Which Brand AC Units Last the LongestIn addition, the brand of the AC unit can also affect its lifespan. Some brands are known for producing units that last longer than others. For example, some Lennox HVAC units are known for lasting up to 25 years with proper maintenance. When it comes to choosing a brand for your AC unit, some brands are known to last longer than others. According to experts, the top-rated brands for air conditioning units are:
- American Standard
Cost-Effective AC RepairsIf your air conditioning unit is experiencing issues that are costly to repair, it may be tempting to replace the unit. However, there are some cost-effective AC repairs that can save you money in the long run.
Refrigerant Leak RepairIf your AC unit is low on refrigerant, it can cause your unit to work harder and decrease its efficiency. Repairing a refrigerant leak is a cost-effective way to improve the performance of your unit and avoid costly replacements.
Thermostat ReplacementA faulty thermostat can cause your unit to work inefficiently or not at all. Replacing the thermostat is a relatively low-cost repair that can improve the temperature control of your unit.
Fan Motor ReplacementIf the fan motor is not working properly, it can cause your unit to work harder and decrease its efficiency. Replacing the fan motor is a cost-effective repair that can improve the performance of your unit.
Determining When to Replace Your Air Conditioning UnitThere are several factors to consider when determining whether it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit. These include:
- Age of the unit: If your unit is approaching or past its lifespan, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than continuing to make repairs.
- Frequency of repairs: If you find yourself making frequent repairs to your unit, it may be a sign that it’s time to replace it.
- Energy efficiency: Older units are generally less energy-efficient than newer models. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient unit can save you money on your energy bills in the long run.
AC Repair vs. AC ReplacementWhen deciding between AC repair and AC replacement, there are several factors to consider
AC repair may be a viable option if:
- The unit is relatively new
- The repair is minor and low-cost
- The unit has a lot of life left
AC replacement may be necessary if:
- The unit is old and past its lifespan
- The repair is costly
- The unit is experiencing frequent issues