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Repair or Replace Air Conditioner

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When your air conditioner starts acting up, you could have a difficult decision to make. Should you make necessary repairs to the unit or just replace the whole thing and start fresh? This decision shouldn’t be made lightly, which is why Cates Heating and Cooling is here to provide you with valuable information that can help you make that decision.


AC repairs are often easy for expert HVAC technicians, so it isn’t so much a question of whether something can be repaired but whether it should be repaired. In some cases, you will be much better off to get your unit repaired instead of replacing the whole thing. Here are a few different things to consider at this point.

  • Age: The very first thing you should think about when determining if you should make repairs to your air conditioning unit is the age of the system. Young air conditioners—those that are less than ten years old—still have enough life left in them to lead you down the repair path. This is especially true if you aren’t having any trouble with efficiency, increasing energy bills, or uneven cooling.
  • Cost: How much are the needed repairs going to cost? There is a certain point where you are better off purchasing a new system than contributing money to repairing the unit. Compare the cost of the repairs to the cost of a new system. If the repairs cost less than a third of what a new unit will cost, you should probably opt for repairs. You may also want to factor age into this consideration.
  • Repair/Upgrade Opportunities: Will upgrading your air conditioner save you money in the long run? You don’t want to make your decision based only on the decreased cooling efficiency of your air conditioner. Often, this issue can be resolved with an easy repair. For example, upgrading your thermostat could be all you need to do to have a more efficient air conditioner.
  • Length of Time You Will Be in Your Home: While this might seem like an odd thing to consider when determining whether you should repair or replace an air conditioning unit, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If you only plan on being in your home for another year or two, a repair may benefit you financially. However, if you think you will be in your house for another decade, it might be time to think about replacing the unit.

While repairs are inevitable at some point in the lifecycle of your air conditioner, preventative maintenance can be extremely helpful in keeping the unit up and running for longer. Contact Cates Heating and Cooling to sign up for a preventative maintenance plan that will help catch some of these problems before they start to affect your system’s ability to cool your home.


For some circumstances, replacing an air conditioner is a better choice for the homeowner. Air conditioners are only made to run for 15 to 20 years, so older units are best replaced than repaired frequently. Here are some other things you should think about when considering a replacement AC unit.

  • Age: Again, the age of your air conditioner is a huge factor to consider. If your furnace is more than 10 or 15 years old and repairs are more than a third of the replacement price, you are going to want to replace the unit altogether.
  • Cost: We often choose to repair our AC units because it takes less time and seems easier. However, you might notice that repairs are needed more and more frequently, and you are shelling out more money than ever getting the unit fixed repeatedly. At this point, replacing the unit is the smart way to go.
  • Energy Efficiency: Many old air conditioners aren’t going to have the same efficiency level that newer systems have. In some cases, you may save more money by replacing the old system with a new one than you are spending on the new air conditioner. Newer, more efficient units could save you a ton of money on your energy bills—especially if you invest in a unit with one of the highest efficiency levels.
  • Warranties: Don’t forget to consider any outstanding warranties you have on your air conditioner and its parts. Any parts that can be repaired or replaced under warranty are a great place to start. If your warranty is expired, you might decide that replacing the whole system is the best option.
  • Length of Time You Will Be in Your Home: We covered this in the last section, but it is worth repeating. If you are planning on living in your home for years and years to come, don’t keep repairing major air conditioning issues. Invest your money in putting a whole new system in your home instead. Not only will you save money on repairs, but you are also likely to notice cheaper energy bills each month.


For those of you who are seriously considering a new air conditioner, there are a lot of benefits to replacing your old system. The biggest benefit is that you get to choose a new air conditioner that you truly want. With so many different options on the market, you are able to get something that is perfect for your home and lifestyle. Additionally, you are likely to have a more energy efficient system when you purchase a new model.

If you are sick of battling inconsistent cooling and hot spots in your home, a new unit that was properly sized for your home is more likely to keep you comfortable.

Still not sure when to repair or replace your HVAC system? Take the Repair vs Replace survey today!

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