When it comes to deciding whether to repair your air conditioner, or bite the bullet and replace it altogether, there are tons of factors that can influence your decision. Whichever way you’re leaning,considering contacting a few air conditioning system professionals for advice on your specific issues before making any decision. In the meantime, here are a few things you may want to consider.
The average life expectancy for a typical air conditioner is 10 to 15 years. Past 15 years, you’re likely to notice your unit is chugging, struggling to function properly and silently, and on its last legs. You may end up having it repaired and parts replaced every year, or worse. Once your unit has reached the ripe age of 15, you should probably put it out to pasture and invest in a new air conditioner.
Typically, a brand new air conditioner can run you anywhere from $600 to $4,000. Some cheaper, or portable units can go as low as $200, but the actual cost obviously depends on location, time of year, and chosen model, etc. If your repair is going to cost more than your unit did, you may want to just invest in a new unit with parts that are guaranteed to function instead. If the cost is less than your current unit, and especially you’re simply repairing or replacing a vital cost, it will likely solve your problem and save you a ton of money.
If your air conditioner has been malfunctioning, you’ve likely noticed an increase or fluctuation in your electricity bills. But what about when it’s actually doing its best? Especially if you have an older unit, you may want to look into replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. Programs like Energy Star exist to compare and rate energy efficiency of things like household appliances, and allow you to make the environmentally responsible choice. The bonus of getting a more efficient unit is that you will notice a decline in electricity costs, and may save enough money going forward to justify the investment in a new air conditioner.
Often, a malfunctioning air conditioner is the result of something simple like a faulty part, or lack of cleaning and general upkeep. In these cases, you might be able to spend a few bucks on a new fuse, or even give it a thorough cleaning without consulting a professional. However, like any other household appliance, your air conditioner will simply lose efficiency over time. If you keep your unit in working order and notice that it’s still struggling to keep up, it may be time to replace it. While age is a factor, this may also be the result of moving to a more drastic climate, somewhere with heat waves or longer daylight hours. Either way, if your machine isn’t doing its job, consider getting an air conditioner that makes sense for your exact needs, rather than holding onto an obsolete old unit.
In the end, your decision should factor in all of the above, but ultimately you should consider whatever is best – or what’s even possible – for your financial situation. When in doubt, ask a pro!