How to Determine if Its Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Scottsboro stops working, it can be tricky to know if it’s a sign for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a greater option for the long run. The answer isn’t the same for every homeowner. For instance, a system that has been taken care of could be a smarter candidate for an AC repair because it will generally have a longer lifetime than another system that hasn’t been maintained. Many other factors should be considered on top of to this. We’ve got some questions that can help lead you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a big factor in your decision to call for an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Aged systems usually don’t run as well as they did when they were new—and definitely not as effectively as a new, energy-efficient model. In fact, you could lower your energy consumption by more than you may think if you exchange your outdated system with a new, energy-efficient unit. In many circumstances, this savings will rationalize investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can differ based on your specific equipment and how well it’s been maintained, but Energy Star proposes upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is more than 10 years old.

Outside your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has stopped working a couple of times, it’s likely to break down again—this circumstance can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you think about possible rebates and improved efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective in the end?

Many experts recommend following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your unit by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, exchange the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house comfortable enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t running well.
  • Are your energy bills going up without enhanced usage? This is a sign that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t function properly. Likewise, if you’ve recently worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can actually be larger than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re unclear about if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to get a replacement, Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. can help! Our professionals can help you determine how much life remains in your system and what the best option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 256-574-1300 to setup an appointment for us to come out.