One of the most common questions every homeowner struggles to answer is whether they should repair or replace their AC. This article goes over how you can decide which direction you need to go following a malfunctioning AC unit. Some conditions may warrant a small repair and cleaning, whereas others may demand a more extensive and more pricey AC repair that may even beat the purpose of keeping the old unit in the first place.
What Is The Lifespan Of An AC Unit
The average span of an AC unit typically lasts anywhere from 10-15 years. It may last a bit longer if taken in excellent care. 10-15 years sounds like a rather good length of time. But, these days, most people don’t even stay in one home for that long.
Although the expected average length of an AC unit’s life seems rather generous, it totally depends on how you took care of it and how it may have been cared for by the previous homeowners.
Many factors can influence the overall lifespan of an AC unit, like frequency of use, the situations it operates under, and whether or not you have it regularly maintained by professionals. These are essential components in caring for your HVAC system and extending its life span.
Frequency Of Use Matters
The frequency of use refers to how often your AC has to turn on and off and how painfully it has to work to cool your room. The number of times your AC system unit switches on and off, along with the amount of energy it uses to function, can put some mileage on your AC unit, which results in malfunctions and the need for AC repair.
What Operating Conditions Factor In?
Operating conditions may affect your unit’s ability to do its job smoothly and without restriction or delay. What do I mean by this? When was the last time you changed your AC system’s filter?
Depending on the size of your AC unit and your home’s indoor air quality, you should replace your AC filter regularly. Air filters should be replaced every 2 or 3 months in an average suburban home. Once a month is recommended if you have pets and allergies.
It’s crucial to remember that all of your home’s airflow comes right through your filter to cool your home effectively. If your filter’s airways deteriorate with dirt and debris buildup, your AC unit will have to work much harder to perform, weakening its power and efficiency.
This energy waste and power stress cost you more in utilities, but it will also wear out your system sooner, and ultimately, you’ll need an AC repair.
Maintenance Plan to Avoid AC Repair Services
Another factor typically overlooked that will strongly weigh in on your air conditioning system’s lifespan is whether or not you have an AC maintenance plan for it.
Most HVAC companies in Florida offer maintenance plans to their customers, delivering proper upkeep and enduring efficiency. That is what helps you to avoid AC repair costs. Since air conditioners are costly, it makes sense to go the extra mile to ensure it performs optimally and lasts 15+ years. With the help of a professional HVAC maintenance plan, you can greatly reduce AC repair costs and improve the lifespan of your AC unit by a lot.
Should You Repair Your Air Conditioner Or Replace It Completely
Before deciding if it’s time to purchase a new AC system or repair the existing unit, one should consider four critical factors very seriously.
1. Age Of Your AC Unit
Modern air conditioner units can last up to 15 years, and older air conditioners last about 10-12 years. If your AC unit has overtaken the average lifespan mark of 10-12 years, it is recommended to replace it. Repairs will cost you time and money and don’t give you peace of mind during the whole winter season. As your AC gets older, its mechanical parts can become unavailable over time in the market. If you can’t replace a damaged part, you will need to purchase a new AC unit.
2. Cost Of AC repair
If the cost of your repair is exceptionally high, it usually makes much more sense to replace the unit and save yourself time and even further repair money down the road.
3. Energy Bills Increasing Annually
Unless there is a drastic change in your home’s energy use, your energy bill should stay the same every month, varying for furnace and AC season. If your power usage habits have stayed the same, but your monthly bill has increased, it might be time to consider a new air conditioner.
Higher energy bills can imply that your air conditioner is not functioning correctly or losing efficiency. Energy bills usually start rising as an air conditioner gets older, so both the issues can be related.
Receiving a high energy bill once in a while isn’t a cause for panic. Nevertheless, if your energy bills go up and don’t come down, you might need to look for a new AC unit.
4. Your AC Unit Uses R-22 Freon
Beginning on Jan 1, 2020, Freon will no longer be made in the U.S. It may not sound like a big deal, but it could influence your home more than you think! If you own an air conditioner unit over ten years old, it most likely uses a refrigerant known as R-22 Freon. It has been found to impact the environment negatively, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is phasing it out of use.
If your AC unit uses R-22 Freon, don’t be nervous just yet. You can still keep and use your AC, even in 2022. However, it would help if you started preparing for a replacement. If your air conditioner breaks down after 2020 and needs a Freon refill for the repair, there won’t be any available. At that time, you will have to replace your AC with a unit that doesn’t use the R-22 refrigerant.
A new AC unit doesn’t have to be an unplanned purchase. By paying close attention to the performance of your air conditioner, you can know when it’s time to equip for an AC replacement. Get in touch with Aztil AC if you doubt your AC unit is nearing the end of its life. Our experienced HVAC mechanics can help find the right air conditioner for your home’s price range and cooling requirements.