Air conditioning systems vary greatly in size and expense. The small window units are usually less expensive to buy and repair than large scale units, but they are prone to similar repair issues. Large units can cost a lot of money to repair, but can be used in lieu of several smaller units. This may even allow for a lower overall energy cost to cool your home or office. No matter which type of unit you use, it is important to take the cost of repair and replacement into consideration when the unit breaks down. There are three simple tips to keep in mind when making this decision that will apply to all air conditioning units.
The Overall Cost Rule of Thumb
HVAC repair companies can vary greatly in the amount of money that they charge for repairing or replacing an air conditioning unit. This cost variance depends on the extent of the repairs and even the location that the repairs take place. Some parts of the country will be more of less expensive in regards to general cost of repairs and replacement. This is due to a variety of factors, but the local climate and the time of year play a part. Either way, there are general rules of thumb that can be used when deciding whether to replace or repair an air conditioning unit.
One such rule of thumb dictates that air conditioning repair costs can be based on a $5000 metric. In order to compare the cost of repairs to the rule of 5000, you would multiply the actual quoted repair cost by the age of the unit. If the resulting number is $5000 or greater you should replace the unit. You may conceivably repair the unit if the total amount is less than the $5000 mark. For example, a 5 year old air conditioner that requires $100 worth of repairs, would register as $500 on the $5000 rule of thumb scale. This sort of repair makes sense for a large unit. They can cost between $3600 and $7200 to replace with an energy efficient unit. Energy efficiency is important because it can reduce your overall operational cost by 20%.
Another common sense rule of thumb would be that if the repair costs are higher than the actual cost of replace, or close to it, you should replace the unit. This issue is more likely to occur in smaller air conditioning units that larger ones, however. If you purchase a small $200 window air conditioner, and the repairman quotes a repair cost of $180, there is little reason to pay for that sort of repair cost. If the device breaks down once more, the cost of total repairs will far exceed the value of the air conditioner.
Replace Air Conditioner Units After 10 Years
If your air conditioning unit is working great at the ten year mark, there is no need to replace it. Continue to enjoy its usefulness! However, if it breaks down you should consider replacing it. The common operative life of a properly maintained air conditioner is around 8 or 12 years. A ten year old air conditioner can usually be replaced for a more efficient model that will lower energy costs, while provided fewer repair issues.
Energy Bill Increases and Frequent Repairs
The final tip to consider when it comes to choosing between repairing and replacing your air conditioning unit is to pay attention to the frequency of repairs and total operative cost. The frequency of repairs simply references how many times the unit has needed repairs. If you have to repair it more than once or twice consider replacement of the unit. This is especially important to take into consideration if those repairs are expensive each time. If a unit needs to be repaired on a frequent basis, it may have an underlying issue that will lower its overall efficiency.
The total operative cost refers to your energy bill each month. If your energy bill steadily increases outside of the norm for when you use your air conditioner, the unit may have lost a great deal of its efficiency. Consider replacing it.
Talk to professionals, like one at Redlands Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, for more info.
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