Deciding whether to repair or replace your AC unit can lead you to a crossroads. One option is less expensive, but it carries no guarantees. The other option guarantees better results but costs much more. In this blog, we’ll dive into the different factors you need to consider when it comes to repairing or replacing your AC unit.
Energy Star, America’s leader in energy-efficient appliances, suggests upgrading your unit if your current one is 10 years old or more. Most technicians will recommend waiting until your unit is 15+ years old before considering a replacement.
An easy trick to use when trying to figure out when to replace or repair is using the 5000 rule: Multiply the cost of the potential repair by the age of the equipment. If the product exceeds 5000, then you should replace the unit. If the product is below 5000, then a repair is the more cost-effective option.
Freon is the brand name of the common refrigerant R-22. R-22 will cease being produced in 2020, and make it difficult for homeowners to obtain the substance for their HVAC units. When your unit requires additional refrigerant, it usually means that there is a coolant leak. At the moment, R-22 can range anywhere from $37 to as much as $175 per pound.
Once you have a coolant leak, your compressor will be the next item to go. If you go the repair route; fixing the leak, refilling the refrigerant, and replacing the compressor will all add up to about the same price as a new low-end unit.
Some technicians will recommend not doing anything if your unit doesn’t show any leaks and your bill is relatively low, regardless of your unit’s age. It is also worth considering how much longer you will be in your current house. If you plan to move soon, the fix might not even be worth the money.