When to Replace Your Air Conditioner? Some Tips from First Choice Heating & Air Conditioning

Air conditioner replacement is expensive.  There, we said it.  It is something that many HVAC companies ignore when discussing a replacement, but since the cost of replacement is probably the number one reason that consumers fail to replace air conditioning systems that need replacement, it is something that needs to be addressed.  Replacing an air conditioner is expensive, and it becomes more expensive if you have to do anything in addition to replacing your central unit, such as replacing or repairing ductwork.  Because the up-front costs of air conditioner replacement seem so expensive, many people continue to repair worn-out air conditioners, believing that it will save them money.  However, as air conditioning systems age and decline, their efficiency declines as well.  At some point, when one considers the costs of continued repairs and utility bills, replacement becomes a more affordable choice than repair.  At First Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, one of our goals is to help our customers understand when it is a smarter financial choice to replace an ailing air conditioning system than it is to repair it.

What factors should you consider when making the repair or replace decision?  From a purely financial perspective, the following four factors are important: the age of the unit, the cost of the proposed repairs, the type of coolant your current system uses, and the cost of a proposed replacement.  The older the unit, the more likely you are to experience additional breakdowns and the less efficient it will be.  If your older system uses R-22 coolants like Freon, recharging the system can be prohibitively expensive.  Finally, while an expensive repair may make financial sense on a younger system, you want to think of repairs like investments.  One suggestion is the $5,000 rule, which means that you should not consider a repair if the cost of the repair times the age of the system is greater or equal to $5,000.

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