How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your AC

April 15, 2021

Is it time to get a new air conditioner, or can you get by with a few repairs? If your unit is on the older side, this can be a tough question to answer. How do you know when repairs will be more expensive than simply getting a new, energy-efficient unit? When you have to decide between AC unit repairs or installing a new air conditioning unit in New Orleans, LA, you can make the best choice when you consider these factors.

How old is your unit?

Generally, air conditioners last about 10 to 15 years, depending on how well maintained they are. If your AC unit is older than a decade, it might be prudent to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model. In fact, your old unit may no longer meet federal standards—and it could be costing you a lot of extra money in the meantime. On the other hand, if it’s less than five years old, check your warranty and ask an HVAC repair technician how much they estimate repairs will be.

There’s also the “$5,000 rule”: if the age of the unit multiplied by the cost of repairs comes to more than $5,000, it’s probably best to just replace it.

How much will the repairs cost?

You’ve been keeping up with your yearly HVAC tune-ups, right? If so, your HVAC contractor is more likely to catch problems before they turn into major issues, with price tags to match. If, however, your HVAC has been struggling for a while, the repair bill could be high.

Ultimately, there comes a time when you have to decide whether it’s cheaper to replace or repair your unit. If your air conditioner is constantly breaking down, can’t cool down your entire home or makes a lot of loud, weird noises, it’s time to invest in a new unit. At a certain point, it will be cheaper to replace your unit than getting to a first-name basis with your HVAC contractors.

What does your HVAC tech recommend?

Finally, if you’re not sure what to do, ask your HVAC tech. Not only will they be familiar with your specific air conditioner, but they’re also more likely to know how it compares to other models of a similar age versus new units manufactured today. Your HVAC contractors can tell you whether they’ve had experience with that specific make and model, and how they expect it to last in the coming years. Expert advice is always helpful when making a major appliance decision.

In the end, a well-maintained unit can last up to 15 years, and might even make it to 20 if you regularly maintain it. However, there comes a time when an old air conditioner simply can’t compete with energy-efficient models. The older your unit is, the more prudent it is to get a new one.

When you need help with AC unit repairs or air conditioning unit installation in New Orleans, LA, JMB A/C & Heating LLC can help. Call us today.

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