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

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Wisconsin Rapids breaks down, it can be hard to know if it’s a sign for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long term. The answer isn’t identical for every homeowner. For example, a system that has been serviced regularly could be a realistic candidate for an AC repair because it will generally have a longer lifetime than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other factors should be taken into account on top of to this. We’ve got some questions that can help lead you.

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

The age of your air conditioner is a large factor in your verdict to arrange an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Older systems usually don’t run as effectively as they did when they were new—and especially not as efficiently as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could reduce your energy consumption by more than you may know if you exchange your older system with a new, energy-efficient unit. In many circumstances, this savings will justify investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can vary based on your particular equipment and how well it’s been taken care of, but Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your existing central air conditioner is greater than 10 years old.

Beyond your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has stopped working a couple of times, it’s likely to break down again—this scenario can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you take into account possible rebates and improved efficiency, is a new system going to be more lucrative in the future?

Many technicians recommend following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your system by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, exchange the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house comfortable enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t keeping up.
  • Are your energy bills increasing without extra usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t do its job. Also, if you’ve just taken measures to make your home more energy efficient, your system can in fact be bigger than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re not sure if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to consider a replacement, Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc can help! Our specialists can help you establish how much life is left in your system and what the top option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 715-301-0256 to setup an appointment for us to visit you.