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How to Decide Whether Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair or Replacement

Air conditioning units have a lifespan of 15-20 years, depending on the usage. On the other hand, manufacturing technology keeps moving ahead with time, providing better alternatives. So, when it is time to decide between air conditioner repair and replacement, there are a lot of factors to consider. Aire One Heating and Cooling has been providing HVAC services to Kitchener, Waterloo, Stratford and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. In this blog, we have put together a few key factors that could help you make a decision between repair and replacement.

  • Age
    As with any electronic device, air conditioners become inefficient and faulty over time. An AC that is older than 10 years will be functioning far below its original efficiency. This will reflect on the energy bills. If such a unit is in need of increasingly frequent repairs, it is time to get a replacement.
  • Efficiency
    The ratio between the total cooling generated and the amount of energy consumed, which is often referred to as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), is used to rate AC units. A 10 SEER unit will be 30 percent less efficient than a 13-SEER unit and 60 percent less efficient than a 16 SEER unit. By regulation, all models manufactured after 2009 are at least 13 SEER, meaning they consume 30 percent less energy than the older 10-SEER units; and in turn, reduce energy bills by as much. Therefore, the savings generated by replacing an older model is worth the cost incurred, in the long run.
  • Refrigerant
    Air Conditioners that require R-22 refrigerant can bump up the repair costs as it has become expensive due to its scarcity. It is also illegal to manufacture R-22 refrigerant after 2020, so if any AC unit running on it is facing coolant leakage issues, they must be replaced by a newer model. The newer models use R-441 refrigerant, which is reportedly more eco-friendly.
  • Expense
    The difference in cost is most often the driving factor for making a choice between air conditioner repair and replacement. As the flat comparison of these rates is not helpful, HVAC professionals have come up with a method called the 5000 rule. According to this, if the estimated cost of repairs multiplied by the age of the unit remains under 5000 dollars, it is suggested that repair is the better option. For example, when the repair cost for a seven year-old unit is 400 dollars, the product of the two values being 2800 makes it favourable for repair.
  • Usage
    Replacement cost is significantly higher than repair cost, but it depends on the duration for which the air conditioner is required. A new AC will run well for 10 years, not needing frequent repairs. If there is a possibility of making full use of that time, the cost of a new unit is going to be worth it. If the requirement is for a shorter period and the repair expense falls under the 5000 rule, it is better to opt for a repair.

Tangential problems, like poor insulation or leaking air ducts, affect the performance of an air conditioner. Before calling for air conditioner repair or replacement, hire a technician to identify and fix any such issues.

Hiring a reliable HVAC company will ensure that the installation or repair goes smoothly. Aire One Heating and Cooling provides air conditioning repair and installation, furnace installation, water heater products and air quality products and services around the clock. Contact us today for emergency air conditioner repair services.