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Shafer Heating & Cooling, LLC Blog

When to Repair an AC… and When to Replace It


One of the eternal questions when it comes to air conditioning systems is when to stop repairing an AC and instead replace it. You can keep a central air conditioner running for many years with professional repairs, but at a certain point, further repairs will be throwing away money better spent on a new system. 

When is it best to leave aside repairs and get a new air conditioner? There’s no single answer, but our expert HVAC team can give you guidelines. After all, every one of our employees receives over 200 hours of training per year—they know ACs and they know how best to help customers. 

The air conditioner’s age

Knowing how old your AC is will help you make decisions about when repairs are still worthwhile. Younger systems are usually still under warranty, making repairs more affordable, and the right targeted repair (such as fixing a refrigerant leak) can keep a system running for many more years. But when an AC is more than 12 years old, repairs become less attractive. When an air conditioner is more than 15 years old, we generally recommend replacing the system when it starts to malfunction.

The cost and frequency of repairs

Another way to tell that repairs are no longer cost-effective is when they become more frequent and/or more expensive. You shouldn’t need to have your AC repaired once a year to keep it operating; even every other year is too often. Nor should you pay cumulatively more than $500 a year to fix the AC. When it comes to individual repairs, you can try the “Rule of 5,000”: multiply the cost estimate for the repair by the age of the AC. If the result is more than 5,000, it’s better to opt for a new air conditioner.

Dropping energy efficiency

An aging air conditioner will accumulate enough wear and tear that it will start to lose its energy efficiency during the last one to two years of its life. When you notice your summer electric bills rising without a noticeable cause, you may have a power-wasting antique air conditioner. If repairs and maintenance don’t do anything to reverse the trend, replacement is the best option. 

Dead compressor

When the compressor for an AC fails, you can choose to have it replaced. If the compressor is still under warranty, this is a good option. Otherwise, when an air conditioner’s compressor fails, it means it’s time to replace the whole AC system. The cost to replace a compressor no under warranty is too steep, so it’s better to start over with a new system that comes with a new warranty. 

You have your eye on a special high-efficiency system

If you have an older AC that’s still working well, but you’re interested in a new high-efficiency system or one with advanced technology like a multi-stage compressor, then by all means go for it! We encourage customers who want to invest in better technology. We can help you find the right new cooling system that will increase savings and even improve your comfort.

When you need solid answers about air conditioning replacement and air conditioning repair in Hillsboro, OH, we’re here to help!

Shafer Heating & Cooling, LLC: You are just one call away from the comfort and savings you deserve!

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