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Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

When you start to have problems with your HVAC unit, it can be a tough call: do you repair the unit or replace it? Cates Heating and Cooling wants you to get the most out of your air conditioner, but we also know that there are times when you should just start fresh, so we have some advice for you.

Age of Air Conditioner

When air conditioners reach a certain age, it is likely that replacement is your best bet. Air conditioning units are generally built to last between 10 and 15 years. If your air conditioning unit is over 10 years old and is having significant problems, it may be time to find a new unit.

If you are unsure of the age of your unit, check the inspection sticker; in many cases, the inspection sticker will tell you how old the unit is. If you still can’t find the age, you can contact the local building department to see when the last mechanical inspection was done on your property. However, price comes into play a lot when it comes to replacing an air conditioning unit, too.

Cost of Repairs and Replacement

Air conditioners can be expensive to replace, which scares many people away from getting a new unit, but constant repairs can end up costing you much more than the cost of a new unit. So, how do you know when you should cut your losses and go with a new unit?

Cates Heating and Cooling recommends an easy equation to decide. It is called the 5,000 rule. If your unit is over 10 years old, you should try this rule out. Using this rule, you take the age of the unit and multiply it by the cost of the repair. If the number is more than $5,000, then you should consider replacing the unit instead of repairing it. So, if your unit is 10 years old, and your repairs will cost $600, that would equal $6,000. This would be a great time to replace the unit. However, if the unit is 10 years old and the cost of the repair is only $200, you should just focus on AC unit repairs, because the equation only equals $2,000.

Efficiency of Air Conditioner

One additional aspect of cost to keep in mind is the cost of running the air conditioner. New air conditioner models are made to be more energy efficient. The more energy efficient your unit, the less you will be spending on cooling your home, so sometimes, a replacement will pay for itself in just a couple years in saving on your energy bill.

If you have noticed that your energy bills are continuously on the rise, there could be a problem with your air conditioner. In this case, it is likely that the unit is too old. This is a common problem for people who don’t know the age of their unit.

Benefits of Replacing Your Air Conditioner

While there are many times when you might decide to get your current air conditioner repaired, there are benefits to replacing your old air conditioning unit.

First, a new air conditioner is likely to improve the air quality of your home when paired with a new high-efficiency air filter; as a pair, costs are low. Better air filtration and zoning can keep the air cleaner, while you are likely to notice less dust in your home after the installation of a new air conditioning unit.

Many air conditioners come with 10-year warranties. If your current unit is older than 10, then you are going to have to cover all costs yourself. A new unit means a new warranty that will prevent unexpected AC-related expenses. An extended warranty can also offset the cost of labor as well.

Energy-efficiency has changed a lot in the past couple of decades. If you have an old air conditioner, you are likely wasting a lot of energy to run it. Investing in a new AC unit could save you hundreds of dollars each year on your cooling bills.

The best part about getting a new AC unit is that you won’t have to worry about the unit breaking down on the hottest day of the year. New units shouldn’t have any problems for a long time if they are well-maintained. But if they do, you have a warranty to help you cover the costs of any needed repairs.

Cates Heating and Cooling is proud to serve the Overland Park, Kansas, areas. We travel to houses all over the Kansas City Metro area to repair and replace air conditioning units. One of our technicians can help you decide how to handle your broken-down air conditioner before it becomes sweltering hot outside this summer. Set up a consultation today at 913-888-4470.

See Cates Heating and Cooling technician Nathan Culp talk more about this subject on KCTV5.

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