A new air conditioner can be an expensive investment. In fact, it is pricey enough that you would generally rather repair your existing unit than get a new one. However, after every repair you have to ask yourself if you are going to be paying more in the long run. Even though $4000 may seem like a lot for a new unit, the decision is a no-brainer if you know you will pay that much in repairs for the next year anyway. The trick is knowing when the right time is for replacement. To help you out with that, we put together this guide to help you decide when it is time for a new air conditioner!
Age of the Unit
Perhaps the most important factor in deciding whether or not you need a new air conditioner is the age of the unit. A good rule of thumb is to replace a unit if it is more than ten years old. Most air conditioners do not last for very long past the ten year mark, though you can typically push it out to 15 years with proper maintenance. So, if your unit has just hit the ten year mark but you cannot afford the replacement right away (and let’s be honest: how many of us can afford to drop thousands of dollars on short notice?) then you can use the extra few years as a buffer to help you save up the funds. However, do not take this as a sign to relax! Your unit could give out at any time and there are no promises beyond the ten year mark.
Energy Efficiency Concerns
Another factor to consider when looking at the age of your air conditioning unit is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency standards tightened up back in 2006, so a unit that is more than ten years old might not have the required SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of 13, making your energy bills much higher than they would be if you installed a new air conditioner. Your energy bills must be a factor when calculating the value of an AC replacement.
Frequency of Repairs
While the age of the unit will often correlate with maintenance and repair needs, this is not always the case. Sometimes local conditions may cause a unit to break down faster, or an event occurs that compromises the lifespan of the unit. Regardless of the reason, if you find yourself needing to call out a technician for ac repair every month or two, this is a very good sign that you need to replace the unit. Ideally, your air conditioner should not require more than routine maintenance once or twice per year. If it is breaking down more often than that calculate the extra costs and determine how long it would take for a new air conditioner to pay for itself. If the “break even” point comes up less than three or four years from today, you should definitely get a replacement.
The decision about whether or not to get a new air conditioner is certainly an expensive one! However, making that call can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in reduced energy costs and fewer service calls. If you are interested in buying a new air conditioning unit feel free to get in touch with us and we can get you set up!