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Repair or Replace? Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

If you’re not sure whether it would be wiser to replace your existing air conditioner unit or get it repaired, you’re not alone. The cost associated with replacing an air conditioner makes many people hesitant to choose replacing over repairing. However, there comes a point when it generally makes more sense to invest in a new unit rather than to continually spend money on reviving the existing one.

Here are the biggest indicators that it’s probably best to let your old AC unit retire and replace it with a new one.

1. You Air Conditioner Is Over 10 Years Old

If air conditioners receive regular maintenance and are kept in an optimum location (out of the sun, not crowded by shrubs or bushes, etc.), they can last up to 20 years. However, in general, most air conditioners last 10 to 15 years. If your air conditioner is in need of a major repair, and it is older than 10 years, it’s probably wiser to put that money towards purchasing a new air conditioner, rather than repairs.

2. The Cost of Repairs Is Getting Too High

If your air conditioner is starting to require repairs more often, or if it is in need of a particularly expensive repair, you might wonder at what dollar amount it makes sense to spend money on a replacement instead. What can be confusing is that it’s almost always going to cost less to repair your air conditioner a single time than to replace it--but what happens when repair costs start to add up?

When it comes to the “repair versus replace” conundrum, here is a good rule of thumb: if the repair that your air conditioner needs is going to cost more money than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it often makes more sense financially to put your money towards a new air conditioner.

3. Your Energy Costs Keep Going Up Each Year

As air conditioners age, they lose efficiency. If your air conditioner is just about ready to give up the ghost, a big indicator can take the form of a steady increase in your energy costs year over year, particularly during summer.

Compare your energy bills from a few summers ago to your most recent summer energy bills. If those bills have been increasing each year, this indicates that your air conditioner has had to work harder and expend more energy each year to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home.

While replacing an air conditioner may be a pricey purchase for most people, hanging onto an inefficient air conditioner that struggles to cool your home can end up costing you a lot of money over time--money that could have been used toward the purchase of a new, better performing, energy-efficient unit.

4. Your Air Conditioner Struggles to Keep Your Home Cool

Rising energy costs year over year can indicate that your air conditioner is struggling, but sometimes you can simply feel it. As your air conditioner ages, you might start to notice that its airflow is weaker and unable to maintain even temperatures around your home, particularly in upstairs rooms, which tend to be the warmest rooms in most homes.

What If I Know I’ll Need to Replace AC My Soon, But I Also Know That I Can Barely Afford It?

Because of the upfront cost, replacing an air conditioner is something that some homeowners would rather postpone. At the same time, it isn’t cost-effective to use an older, inefficient air conditioner that keeps threatening to break down at any moment.

There is a happy medium: retrofitting a home’s existing air conditioning system. When an AC system is retrofitted, it’s enhanced with new features or technology that can prolong its lifespan and improve its efficiency without a large initial investment.

Whether it’s an AC repair, replacement, or retrofit, the experts at Elevation Mechanical have the skills and knowledge to restore comfort to your home: 719-399-4995.

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