Central Air Conditioning: Repair or Replace?
Casey Has the Formula for a Cool Comfortable Summer
Between air-quality alerts from faraway wildfires and steamy summer temps, your central air system needs to work harder than ever. A professional tune-up will ensure your system is ready for the season—and technicians can identify small problems and make repairs before they turn into expensive breakdowns. The trick is knowing when it’s worth making a repair—and when it’s more cost-effective to replace your cooling equipment.
One important factor to consider is the age of your AC. But there are other considerations that can guide your decision between making repairs or going ahead with a replacement. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Repair or Replace? Here’s the Math
A well-maintained central AC system should provide at least 15 years of good service. The cost of a tune-up is usually worthwhile. It can prevent lots of small problems from turning into expensive repair jobs. But even with regular tune-ups, eventually age takes its toll. Repairs will get more frequent—and more expensive—once the warranty is expired.
If you do need a repair, we recommend the $5,000 rule: Multiply the age of your system by the cost of a repair. If the answer is more than $5,000, you’re better off replacing your cooling equipment. So, for example, if you have a repair estimate of $1,200 for an 8-year-old system, you’d get $9,600—you’ll get better value from replacing your system.
The other thing to note is the type of refrigerant it uses. If your system is an older one that uses the phased-out R-22 refrigerant, you should definitely replace it. R-22 is hard to get—and very expensive.
After age, the other important factor to consider is performance. How well did your system do at keeping you comfortable last year? Did you experience frequent breakdowns? Did you see a big spike in your energy use—even though you had a tune-up? Those can be big red flags that your system isn’t operating as efficiently as it should be. (This is a great way to take advantage of any usage information your energy company provides: It can help you see when high bills are coming from increased rates or higher energy use. One thing you can control, the other you can’t.)
If you made changes to your home since your AC system was installed—such as converting an attic or basement into a usable space or enclosed a screen porch to make it a year-round space, those areas may not be cooled by your system. You can update your system—or our cooling-system pros can show you how a high-efficiency ductless unit can make these spaces more comfortable year-round without replacing your whole system.
Time for an Update?
If the signs are telling you it’s time to replace your cooling equipment, the good news is that a new system will run more efficiently and help you cut your cooling costs by as much as a third. Our team of experts can help access your needs and talk to you about trouble spots, like those spaces that never seem to cool off.
The best system in the world is only as good as the installation. We know no two homes are alike, even if they look similar from the street. We’ll even show you why an ultra-high efficiency system might not be worth the extra cost for you, and we’ll help you navigate your options and find the best choice for your budget and your space. We also offer comprehensive cooling system service plans to protect your investment—that include an annual tune-up for your system.
If your system still has a few good years, it’s never too soon to schedule your AC system maintenance. Our technicians will perform a multi-point precision tune-up to ensure your equipment is running right. Annual maintenance is the key to getting the best performance out of your home’s cooling system.
Don’t wait for a breakdown in the middle of a searing heatwave. Whatever your needs, the pros at Casey are here to make sure your cooling equipment is ready for the season. Contact us today.