Should You Repair Or Should You Replace Your A/C System?

11 March 2015
 Categories: , Articles


Maintenance plays a tremendous role in the overall health and longevity of your air conditioning system. However, there comes a point where the amount of time and effort spent on repairs makes purchasing and installing a brand-new A/C system a better deal. Nevertheless, it's important to note the difference between a system that just needs a little more TLC and one that's in sore need of replacement.

The following offers important telltale signs to help you determine whether you need to replace your A/C system or if it just needs maintenance.

When You Should to Replace Your A/C

Your A/C system is capable of giving you years of reliable and dependable service, but nothing lasts forever. It may be time to retire your current cooling equipment if it shows the following signs:

  • Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old - The older an air conditioner gets, the less efficient it becomes due to gradual wear and tear. Even the best maintained A/C systems can lose their edge after more than a decade of service. If your system has surpassed the 10-year threshold, then it's time to consider a high-efficiency replacement bearing the ENERGY STAR label.
  • You're spending more money on repairs than what your system originally cost – It's no surprise that older A/C systems require more frequent repairs, with higher repair bills to go with them. If the amount of money you spend on repairs exceeds the cost of purchasing and installing a newer, more efficient A/C system, then it's time to set aside that money towards a brand-new system from a site like
  • Your energy bills are skyrocketing - if you keep seeing steep increases in your utility bill year after year, your A/C system may be to blame. Older systems not only require more frequent maintenance, but they also consume increasing amounts of energy to perform the same work as before. A brand-new 13 SEER central A/C system could lower your annual cooling bills by as much as 30 percent.
  • Your A/C system struggles to keep certain parts of your home cool and comfortable. Although an aging or woefully inadequate A/C system is often to blame, most problems stem from poorly designed systems that promote inefficiency. If you have an oversized or undersized cooling system, then you'll need to replace it with one that offers the same capabilities in the correct size.

When You Should Make Repairs Instead

Not every problem calls for a complete replacement of your A/C. In many cases, increased energy consumption and poorer performance could be caused by something as simple as a dirty air filter.

  • Your A/C system is less than 5 years old - Recently installed A/C systems generally don't require complete replacement unless a catastrophic malfunction has taken place (such as compressor failure and widespread corrosion after using the wrong refrigerant).
  • You've noticed a slight increase in your cooling costs - A minor bump in cooling costs can be best addressed with regularly scheduled maintenance. For instance, replacing the air filter creates a slight reduction in overall energy usage, which eventually translates into decreased energy costs.
  • Your A/C system isn't cooling as well as it once has - You may want to take a closer look at a wide variety of factors before condemning your air conditioner to an early retirement. For instance, having a professional clean the evaporator and condenser coils may help restore overall cooling performance. Likewise, your A/C system may simply need a refrigerant recharge.
  • Your home suffers from excess dust and/or humidity. Sealing the ductwork and investing in better filtration and humidity control products can help restore your air conditioner's overall performance.

By seeing the telltale signs of impending repair or replacement, you'll be better prepared for whatever comes your way when it comes to your A/C system.