My A/C is broken! Repair or replace?
If you don’t think an air conditioning system has a brain, just wait until it chooses to quit on the hottest day of the year. If that happens, you may wonder if it is best to have the old unit resuscitated, or if it would be wiser to replace it with a new model. If your unit quits so often you have your A/C repair expert on speed dial, or if the repair costs will total half or more of the value of the unit...well, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out it is time to replace it. But what if neither is the case? What if your unit still runs, although a little noisily? Or what if you have noticed your energy bills rising a little more than usual during the summer months, yet the unit still does the job? That makes the decision much more challenging.
Is there a Precise Age Cutoff for Replacing my A/C?
As you can guess, the age of your current unit is a key factor. But there is no magical age that delineates between repair and replace. A/C units on average can last 15 years or more. However, that does not mean you should keep yours that long, because it may be so inefficient that it is costing you money even if it does not need emergency repairs. Even if your current unit is only 10 years old, it may be time to replace it.
How Efficient is your Current A/C Unit?
A/C systems have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which indicates how much power a unit requires to cool. The higher the SEER - a ratio of 15, for example - the more efficient the unit is. The federal government increased the minimum allowable SEER rating in 2006 from 10 to 13. Therefore, if your A/C unit was manufactured prior to 2006, it may not be nearly as efficient as even the cheapest new units manufactured today. According to energy.gov, you can reduce your A/C bills 20%-40% if you replace a ten-year-old system. A/C systems manufactured today are much more efficient than even a few years ago.
Other Things to Consider
Other considerations: No one will disagree that buying a new A/C unit can be expensive. However, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit when you buy a new energy-efficient system. Also, many local municipalities and utilities offer rebates for homeowners who replace inefficient appliances.
Don’t worry. You do not need to figure out all this by yourself. Hammond Services has been consulting homeowners around Griffin and Newnan, GA on the repair vs. replace question for many years. We can help walk you through every option so you can make an informed choice. That means understanding SEER ratings, utility costs, and other factors that play into the repair or replace equation. Please contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation regarding ac repair in Newnan, GA.