Broken Air Conditioner: Repair Or Replace?

Posted on 28 November, 2016 in Broken Air Conditioner: Repair Or Replace?

It is an all too familiar feeling. You come home and find that your home is far warmer than it should be. Perhaps your air conditioner has leaked onto the floor, or it is simply not working. You want a working air conditioner, right now. Should you repair the system you have, or invest in a brand new one? Here are some questions to consider as you make your decision.

How well is your air conditioner working overall?

If your air conditioner is not working well overall, then it might make more sense to replace the system. Consider:

  • Does your system turn on and off multiple times during the day, and require you to restart it?
  • Do you have rooms that never seem to get to the right temperature?
  • When your air conditioner is running, does it make loud, annoying vibrations or noises?

These are signs that the system may not be working well overall. If you find yourself saying yes to these questions, you may need to consider replacing the system, instead of just patching it together with a repair.

On the other hand, if your system has been working just fine up until it stopped working, paying for air conditioner repair might make more sense. It could be worth opting for repair if you have a reasonable expectation that once the problem is resolved, the system will go back to full functionality.

How old is your air conditioner?

Most air conditioning systems are designed to last for between 15 and 20 years. If your system is brand new, then any repairs that it needs are likely to be either inexpensive or covered under a warranty. As the system ages, however, any repairs it needs are likely to be more expensive. Air conditioners also get less efficient as they age, both because they wear out, and because technology is always improving.

Would you save money on your electric bills with a new air conditioner?

If your air conditioner is an older model, it might be worth investigating whether a new system would save you money on your electricity bill. Newer air conditioning systems are much more energy efficient than the models produced even a few years ago, so upgrading can be a good way to save you money over time.

How often has the unit been repaired?

If your air conditioner has been through multiple cycles of malfunction and repair, that is a sign that it is wearing out. Even if you need to patch together one more repair, it may be time to start preparing to replace the unit. If you can do that now, it may be a better choice than repairing the system yet again, only to find yourself back where you started on the next hot day.

How expensive is too expensive?

Our clients at UB Cool often ask us if we think their system is worth repairing. We say that a repair can be a good decision if:

  • The repair will cost less than 30% of a new system
  • The rest of the system is in excellent working order
  • The system is still under warranty

If these things are not true, then we generally advise that our clients consider air conditioner replacement, rather than repairing the one they have.

How long will you be in your home?

If you know that you will be moving in the next few years, you will need to consider whether upgrading the system will allow you to sell your property for a higher cost, justifying the replacement price. If not, it may make more sense to simply repair the system.

If, however, you know that you will be in your home for years to come, you may want to upgrade your system, saving yourself hassle and expense over time.

If your system is not working properly, give us a call. We are happy to help you find the problem, and give you estimates on repairing and replacing, so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Photo Credit: slightly everything Flickr via Compfightcc