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Fuel Oil Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Should I Repair or Replace My Central Air Conditioner?

Posted: August 19, 2019

Repair vs. replace…it’s a choice that you will one day have to make about your central air conditioning system (unless you sell you house before you have to make that decision, if you’re lucky enough to be able to do that).

Sometimes the choice is easy – especially if your cooling system is older or declining in performance year after year. But more often than not the decision lives in a gray area that requires a careful consideration of pros and cons.

So how will you know whether to repair or replace your central air conditioner? Here are five questions to help you decide.

  1. How old is your system? If you have a cooling system that’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to start thinking about a replacement. Not only will your equipment have lost a step or two over the years due to normal wear and tear, but today’s central air conditioners are also more efficient than their predecessors; an investment in a high efficiency A/C will often pay for itself within a few years.
    If you’re having problems with a system that’s less than 10 years old, you will have a tougher decision – talk with us to discuss your options. In the meantime, here’s a rule of thumb: if a repair costs 50 percent or more of the replacement cost, it’s usually worth the upgrade, especially if your equipment is nearing its 10th birthday.
  2. How well has your equipment been maintained? This is an important question to answer honestly, if you even know the answer (if you purchased your home from a previous owner, you may not know how well they cared your cooling system). Proper A/C service (and A/C installation) from a qualified HVAC professional can prolong the life of your equipment by several years – although no amount of maintenance will make your equipment more efficient than it was when you bought it.
  3. Are you satisfied with the performance of your current system? – Do the rooms in your house stay cool during heat waves? Are your monthly cooling bills similar from year to year, or are they increasing? Have you noticed the need for more HVAC repairs in recent years? If your A/C isn’t working as quickly and effectively as it should – even after routine service – it may be time to move on to new equipment.
  4. Would the upkeep of your old system be worth it? – How much is it going to cost to repair your old air conditioner, and what is the likelihood that you will need to repair it again in the near future? How much will it cost to install a new air conditioner? Are there rebates and incentives that could tip the scales in favor of an upgrade? An HVAC pro should be able to help you answer those questions.
  5. Have my cooling needs changed, or will they in the near future? If you have built an addition to your house without changing your cooling system, you could be pushing your A/C beyond its cooling load limits – which will eventually lead to needing to replace your A/C anyway. If you’re planning to undertake a home improvement project like that, it’s a good time to upgrade your cooling system – or to install a mini-split system to share the load with your central A/C.

Considering an upgrade for your home air conditioner? Contact Black Bear today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a high efficiency cooling system for your Sullivan County home!