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

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Jefferson City stops working, it can be difficult to know if it’s an occasion for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long run. The answer isn’t identical for every homeowner. For example, a system that has been well maintained could be a realistic candidate for an AC repair because it will probably have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other factors should be taken into account in addition to this. We’ve got some questions that can help guide you.

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

The age of your air conditioner is a huge factor in your decision to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Older systems usually don’t run as effectively as they did when they were new—and definitely not as well as a new, energy-efficient model. Actually, you could decrease your energy consumption by more than you thought possible if you replace your outdated system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Most often, this savings will rationalize investment in a replacement system.

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

Past your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has broken down a few times, it’s probable to break down again—this situation can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you consider likely rebates and increased efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective in the end?

Many professionals 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, go for the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cool enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t running well.
  • Are your energy bills going up without extra usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is breaking down.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your system is too small for your home, it can’t run efficiently. Likewise, if you’ve recently taken measures 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 not positive if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to get a replacement, Stieferman Heating Company Inc can help! Our professionals can help you establish how much life remains in your system and what the ideal option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 573-203-3908 to setup an appointment for us to check it out.