Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?
In the hot summer days, a well-functioning central air unit can make all the difference in your comfort. When something goes wrong, it creates a lot of anxiety in homeowners. When your system is not working properly or not working at all, you may ask yourself, "Can this be fixed? Or will this require a full air conditioner replacement?"
Considering that replacing a central air unit can be expensive, it's no wonder that people might freak out – just a little. The air conditioning experts at Van Natta Mechanical offer some insights on repairing versus replacing an air conditioning system.
Typically, an air conditioning unit lasts anywhere from 10-15 years; after that, it might be smarter and more cost-effective to replace it. The costs associated with ongoing repairs or inefficient performance can build up pretty fast. Many older units really crank up your energy bill; new A/Cs have many energy-saving aspects, so keep those in mind. The Home Energy Yardstick is a free service offered through Energy Star that can give you an accurate picture of your home’s energy usage.
Depending on where you live, a new unit could run somewhere in the vicinity of $5,000-$7,000, not including any ductwork that might be involved. So do the math: if your repair or energy costs outweigh the cost of a new unit, you’ll know which decision to go with.
Another element? The refrigerant. Many old models of air conditioner use R-22 refrigerant while newer, more environmentally friendly models use R-410a refrigerant. As the older R-22 models have been phased out, the cost of R-22 has gone up significantly due to supply and demand. While it may have cost you $90-$100 in the past to top off your R-22 refrigerant, it could now cost you upwards of ten times that price today. While R-410a refrigerant is not cheap, it won't break the bank nearly as much as R-22. This is definitely a factor to consider when trying to decide whether to replace your air conditioner altogether or merely make a repair to your existing one.
Air conditioning units that were installed a long time ago may have trouble keeping up with current environmental conditions. If your air conditioner always seems to be running, it would be wiser to replace it in order to save on energy bills and to have more efficient cooling in your home. A unit that is constantly cycling on and off will be subject to much more wear and tear, which will result in increased maintenance and repair costs and a decreased lifespan.
The best way to know if your A/C unit can last for a few more seasons, or if it should be replaced? Give the experts at Van Natta Mechanical a call. They’ll give you an honest, thorough proposal and cost-effective recommendations that you can live with. A certified air conditioning technician will be able to assess your unique situation and determine whether a system repair or full system replacement is right for you. We currently have an air conditioning special for New Jersey and New York homeowners for an air conditioning system installation. Now is the perfect time to have your air conditioning system inspected by a Van Natta Mechanical air conditioning expert so contact Van Natta or give us a call today at 201-391-3700.