How to Determine if It’s Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

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Couple reviewing energy bills

When your air conditioner in Southern California breaks down, it can be difficult to know if it’s an occasion for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a greater option for the long run. The answer isn’t the same for every homeowner. E.g., a system that has been serviced regularly could be a realistic candidate for an AC repair because it will probably have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been maintained. Many other factors should be considered additionally to this. We’ve got some questions that can help direct you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a large factor in your choice to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Dated systems usually don’t operate as well as they did when they were new—and definitely not as well as a new, energy-efficient model. Actually, you could decrease your energy consumption by more than you may think if you exchange your older system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Most often, this savings will rationalize investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can differ based on your exact equipment and how well it’s been maintained, but Energy Star proposes upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your existing central air conditioner is older than 10 years old.

Outside your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has failed a few times, it’s prone to stop working again—this situation can end up costing you more money in the future. When you consider possible rebates and increased efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective in the future?

Many professionals advise following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your unit by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, replace the system. If it’s less, just get the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house comfortable enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t working properly.
  • Are your energy bills increasing without enhanced usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your equipment is too small for your home, it can’t function properly. Also, if you’ve not long ago did something to make your home more energy efficient, your system can in fact be larger than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re unclear about if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to think about a replacement, Econo Air can help! Our specialists can help you decide how much life is left in your system and what the best option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 714-695-6661 or set up an appointment for us to visit you using our contact form.