On average, most air conditioning systems have a lifetime of 10-15 years. However, a lack of regular maintenance (or an improper installation) can cause your system to require repairs much more often than you would like. So, when should you choose an AC replacement over a repair? View the infographic below!
Factors to Consider Before Replacing Your AC
- Age of the System
- Energy Efficiency
- Frequency of Repairs
- Refrigerant Standards
The Advantage of an AC Replacement
The most important factor to consider is the age of your AC. HVAC systems over ten years of age tend to be more costly to run, are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and the majority require R-22 refrigerant. R-22 or “freon” will no longer be produced by 2020, so expect prices to dramatically spike. In contrast, newer systems are made to comply with current energy standards and are much more energy efficient. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests you can reduce your AC energy costs by 20-50% by upgrading your HVAC system to a high-efficiency (SEER 14 and above) air conditioning system. The short-term expense translates into long-term savings. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy that?
Should you repair your AC?
Industry experts advise home owners to replace their AC systems if they have had 3 or more major repairs within the span of ten years. It’s tempting to avoid the cost of a replacement by continuing to repair a broken system, but in the long term you may lose more money. One easy way to decide whether to repair your AC or replace is by using the $5,000 rule:
Multiply the age of the system by the repair cost. If the result falls below $5,000, go ahead and proceed with the repairs. If the result is higher than $5,000, you should consider a replacement.