Air conditioners are essential for maintaining a comfortable environment and enjoying your home. When this vital appliance is malfunctioning, such as making strange noises or not working at all, getting it back in working order becomes a priority. But in some instances, it’s sensible to ask whether you should go ahead and replace it with a new one. You don’t want to waste money repairing a unit that’s fundamentally not in good condition and will soon break down again. In making your decision, consider these important questions.
How Old Is The Unit, And What Is Its Maintenance History?
One of the most critical factors in evaluating whether it’s worth repairing the appliance will be its age. You should repair an air conditioner that is less than five years old, especially if it has never malfunctioned before. The problem is probably straightforward and easy to fix, although your technician will let you know if there are any serious issues. In the case of an older unit, especially one more than ten years old, it has probably already needed repair in the past. Air conditioners degrade over time, and this latest malfunction may indicate the unit has served its time and will need constant maintenance going forward. Rather than throwing more money away with a repair, go ahead and replace it.
How Is Energy Efficient The Appliance?
If you have an older unit that has never broken down before, you might still want to replace it if your energy bill is exceptionally high. Air conditioners have become dramatically more energy-efficient over the last decade and tend to cost less to maintain each month. Air conditioners also get less efficient as they age, which is why your energy bill may be higher than it was a few years ago. Replacing this inefficient older appliance with a new, high-efficiency model would lower your lifetime costs. “In this case, the cost of the repair could go towards getting a replacement instead,” says the experts from Heatwave HVAC Bradley IL.
How Severe Is The Malfunction?
Certain types of repairs can be costly, such as if you have to replace the unit’s condenser coils. An air conditioning coil will be an expensive part, and there are also high labor costs associated with this fix. Significant repairs on an appliance that is less than five years old is a good idea because it can perform well for several more years. With an older unit, it’s harder to justify making an extensive repair because you may still have to replace it soon.
Does Your Older Appliance Use Freon?
Many air conditioners manufactured before 2010 utilize Freon, otherwise known as R-22. This common refrigerant is being phased out in several countries, including in the United States as of January 2020. The law restricts the manufacture or import of this substance because it is considered too harmful to the ozone layer. While recycled Freon will still be available if you need to add refrigerant to your unit, this substance is becoming more expensive and harder to find because of the restriction. If your Freon unit has broken down, this is an excellent opportunity to replace that dinosaur with a newer model. Not only because obtaining Freon will become an expensive hassle, but also as a way to be an environmentally responsible consumer.
Does The Air Conditioner Meet Your Needs?
The final consideration is whether the unit is meeting the needs of your lifestyle when it’s fully functional. If you find yourself dissatisfied with the comfort level in your home, you may have a system that is the wrong size for that space. Newer models also have convenient features such as being able to operate the unit remotely through your smartphone. If it’s not a minor repair and you aren’t happy with the air conditioner even when it’s working correctly, then consider getting a replacement.
Deciding whether you should repair your appliance or get a replacement will depend on evaluating these different factors and your long term air conditioning needs. For a newer unit, it’s almost always better to invest in the repair. Maintaining your appliance in good condition will help extend its life for as long as possible. For an older unit or one that is not serving your needs, you might end up deciding that the cost of the repair should go towards a replacement instead.