At Allianz Heating & Air Inc., we know homeowners are so often caught off guard when issues with their residential air conditioners occur. Breakdowns seem to abound during the hottest time of year when the units are being put through the ringer as they try to cool the interiors of homes.
Unfortunately, making a decision when presented with the choice of either conducting repairs or fully replacing the system can prove a difficult task. Experts agree that there are five details that should be considered by homeowners before they make the final decision as to repair or pursue replacing their home’s air conditioning unit.
1. Increased Efficiency
As time goes on, the energy used by an air conditioner will slowly rise, causing utility bills to increase, especially during the hot summer months when the children are home all day and outside temperatures rise.
Even if you are diligent about air filter changes and utilizing a programmable thermostat, newer Energy Star appliances boast utility bill savings of up to 20 percent.
2. Appliance Age
As with most anything, the age of a mechanical device, such as an HVAC system, can have a huge impact on its performance and reliability. Once an AC reaches the 10-year mark, the chances for repeat breakdowns and continued costs will rapidly rise.
HVAC technicians tend to stick to a single equation in order to help customers make the decision as to whether or not they should invest in a full AC replacement. For example, if a unit is 10 years old and the repairs would cost more than $500, a service provider will likely recommend replacement versus repair.
3. Frequent Breakdowns
Don’t be so sure that the first time your AC will break down will be the last. By no fault of your own, parts will deteriorate, wiring becomes frayed, and mechanical issues will likely continue.
Homeowners should consider the long-term costs associated with frequent repairs, not just the current repairs with which they are faced. If you find that the same issues are recurring, or that you’ve had to perform several repairs in recent years, a full AC replacement should definitely be considered.
4. Expensive Repairs
Yes, an air conditioner in need of a simple cleaning probably doesn’t need replacing. On the other hand, frequent refrigerant replacement is not cheap and usually indicates a leak. These leaks have the potential to ruin compressors and at this point, the costs of repairs make replacement the only option.
You may be able to save some cash on emergency repairs if you are subscribed to a maintenance program with a local company. Otherwise, you will find yourself either waiting for relief or paying off-hours labor costs in addition to any parts that must be purchased.
5. Upgrade Opportunities
Any sort of home improvement offers the chance for upgrades. Increased accessibility to hidden parts of a home is often related to the work being performed. The same is true when homeowners choose to replace HVAC systems.
For example, switching to a split system will better serve highly-used spaces. You may even decide to install two or more thermostats to increase your energy savings, especially in homes consisting of two or more levels.
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned issues or just wish to upgrade and save on utility costs, a full AC replacement is going to be your best bet. In the long run, you will save not only money, but headaches and stress as well. Be sure to hire a skilled professional and begin getting the most of your well-spent money.