Knowing when to replace your air conditioning unit or repair your current unit can be a bit of a puzzle. At some point, it just makes sense to install a new air conditioning unit. However, it may not be as quickly as you think. Since it is not always easy to know when to replace your air conditioning unit, here are a few criteria to consider.
Here in Texas, it is hardly an option to not have a functioning air conditioning system in the heat of summer. When things are not working, it is hard to know when to replace your air conditioning unit. One factor to consider is the age of your A/C. A well-maintained A/C can often last up to or over 15 years. If your unit is over ten years old and you find it needing substantial repair, it may be time to purchase a new unit.
Another criteria to consider is the efficiency of your current unit. Our industry has made great strides in the energy efficiency area in recent years, so if your unit is not energy efficient, consider the savings of having a more efficient unit. Especially if you are facing expensive repairs on your current unit, it may be worth putting the investment toward a new unit.
Another factor to consider in deciding when to replace your air conditioning unit is what kind of refrigerant the unit uses. If your unit uses Freon (R 22), it can be especially costly to repair if it develops a leak. The federal government is phasing out use and manufacturing of R 22 because of its effect on the environment. Thus, prices of R 22 continue to rise, and if you find yourself needing some, it may not be worth paying for it. Since a compressor with a leak will eventually break down, it might be worth making the plunge to purchase a new unit. Newer units use R410A refrigerant, which is much more environmentally friendly.
All this being said, even if your unit is older but repairs are only a few hundred dollars, it is likely worth repairing your current unit. You should always consider how long you plan to stay in your home, overall efficacy of the system, and the cost of using the system as reflected in your utility bills. All these factors should help you decide when to replace your air conditioning unit.