Air Conditioner Repair Isn’t Always the Cheaper Option
Is it time to replace your air conditioner? Gather your facts before deciding.
Faced with repair or replacement of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an important decision. There are a number of factors to consider, so having good information is vital to making the right decisions.
The average lifespan of an air conditioning system in the Charlotte, North Carolina region is 10 to 12 years. Like many mechanical things, maintaining a proper air conditioner maintenance schedule can extend the life of an HVAC system up to 20 years. But whether the system is just getting old or has been neglected, there will be telltale signs that you should pay attention to:
- Uneven Temperature inside the house. Having uneven temperatures in your house is frustrating, but more importantly, it is an indication that the heating/ air conditioning system is not quite up to the task of cooling or heating efficiently. This could be due to poor performance from lack of maintenance, degrading performance due to age, an incorrectly sized system, or changes to the house from remodeling.
- A noisy system. Unusual noises coming from your air conditioner system is a symptom of the equipment having worn components and is straining to keep up with temperature demand. As a system ages, there can be wear that will increase over time. Any kind of mechanical or buzzing noises should definitely be taken seriously.
- Frequent breakdowns. If you have had to call in for air conditioner repair each season and year after year, it may be in your best interest to replace it. Inadequate maintenance will lead to a need for more frequent air conditioner repair, and if you drag this process on too long you will spend more on AC repair than the unit is worth and more than necessary on energy bills.
- An aging HVAC system will not perform as efficiently as a new one. The HVAC industry is constantly engineering improved efficiency and product quality. The EPA and the Department of Energy’s joint ENERGY STAR program recommends to replace HVAC systems older than 10 years old. These older systems will increasingly lose energy efficiency over time, and cost you more and more in utility bills and repair costs.
Does Air Conditioner Repair Make Financial Sense?
There are benefits to each choice based on several factors. Weigh these factors based on your situation.
Benefits to Replacing your HVAC:
- There can be substantial cost savings to replace a system that is more than 10 years old. Repair costs can be 50% of the value of the system at this age, and energy costs can be 20% to 40% lower on a new high efficiency system. Consider the highest efficiency options (SEER Rating) for the greatest long-term savings.
- AC repair and service costs will be lower on a new system. New units will come with a warranty. You can also take advantage of paying reduced service prices with a maintenance agreement like One Hour Heating & Air’s Comfort Club.
- There are ‘green’ benefits to purchasing a new system than can save a lot of money compared to servicing an older unit. The U.S. Government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have mandated to phase out R-22 refrigerant by 2020. The new R-410A refrigerant is already in use and quickly becoming the norm. Because of this, the cost of the older R-22 is up to 6 times higher than R-410A. In most cases, it is more cost effective to replace an air conditioning system than to convert it to use the new refrigerant.
- Your comfort and air quality is an important benefit to buying a new system. New systems do a better job of controlling temperature and humidity, which in turn reduces opportunity for mold and mildew growth, improving both the comfort and indoor air quality of your home.
- Imagine no more waiting around in an uncomfortable house for repair services or hard-to-find parts needed for your older system. Convenience is another benefit to purchasing a new HVAC system.
Benefits to consider for repairing your existing HVAC system:
- If your system is not that old it is likely that repairs make better financial sense. You also have the option to sign up for a reduced cost maintenance program like One Hour Heating & Air’s Comfort Club. A program like Comfort Club will help keep service costs down and also extend the life of your system.
- If the cost of a repair is less than half the value of the system and you haven’t had to bear frequent repairs, then a repair may be the best option.
When you are faced with high cost or frequent repairs on your older heating and cooling system, use this information to ask questions and gather information. One Hour Heating & Air technicians and Comfort Advisors will always give you options to consider.