There’s nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner when it’s boiling outside. If you’re in this boat right now, you’re probably wondering whether it’s best to get your air conditioner fixed or pay for a brand new replacement.
It can be hard to tell which is the correct decision. The cost of replacing an air conditioner isn’t appealing to most people, but neither is spending a ton of money on repairs.
If you’re not sure what to do, keep reading for some tips to help you decide whether replacing your air conditioner or repairing it is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Yourself
There are a few different questions you can ask to help as you decide between repairing and replacing an air conditioner:
What Needs to be Fixed?
Sometimes, the problem is very easy to fix. For example, a noisy system or an electrical error can usually be fixed quite easily. In these cases, it’s generally best to just have your air conditioner repaired.
On the other hand, some issues are so costly and time-consuming that buying a new unit can often be the better option. Compressor failure is one such issue. This is especially true if yours is an older system.
For some issues, their severity is also something you need to take into account. For example, one small refrigerant leak is usually an easy fix.
However, multiple refrigerant leaks can be quite expensive and the repairs are often ineffective since leaks are likely to continue developing. In this case, replacing an air conditioner unit would likely be your best option.
How Old is My Unit?
A typical unit is technically designed to last between 15 and 20 years. At least, this is the case in optimal conditions. In large cities or areas where your unit is exposed to harsh weather and pollution, its lifespan will decrease to about ten years.
If it seems your air conditioner is reaching the end of its lifespan anyway, buying a new unit is probably the way to go. But, if you just recently purchased one, it’s probably best to try and find ways to repair it, rather than forking over more money for a brand new system.
What is the Unit’s Maintenance History?
Have you been maintaining and cleaning your air conditioner regularly? If so, the parts themselves are probably in good shape. This means that you’ll probably be fine with repairs and won’t face a high risk of future failures.
If you haven’t been taking proper precautions with your air conditioner, there may be more severe damage that can’t be undone with a repair.
Of course, you can’t know for sure until a professional takes a look. But, if you know you haven’t kept up with maintenance as well as you should have, you may need to brace yourself for the possibility of replacing an air conditioner.
Has it Been Running Reliably?
How often has your air conditioner been breaking down? If this is the first time it’s had a problem, a repair is probably all you need.
But, if it’s frequently breaking down, you may be throwing money down the drain by continuing to invest in repairs. A replacement might actually be the more cost-effective approach.
Can I Save Money with a New Unit?
If you have an old air conditioner (more than ten years), it may be in your best interest financially to have it replaced.
Consider using an online calculator to figure out how much your air conditioner is costing you. Once you find out, you might decide that upgrading is the way to go.
There are lots of newer models that are more energy efficient and could save you a fortune in electrical bills.
How to Choose the Right Repair Company
If you’ve decided that you want to have your air conditioner repaired, it’s important to make sure you hire a reputable repair company.
These guidelines can help you ensure you’re bringing in a qualified person to look at your system:
- Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors
- Check online reviews and try to find ones from people who’ve had similar services to the ones you’re looking for
- Get a quote before committing to anything
- Make sure the company is properly licensed and insured
- Make sure they’re able to work on your specific equipment
It’s also important to ask the right questions when you talk to a representative from the company. Some of the most important questions you should ask include:
- How much experience do you have?
- How quickly can you send a technician to my home?
- How long will it take to fix my air conditioner?
- Do you guarantee your work?
- Will you come back if the initial repair doesn’t solve the problem?
It can be scary to ask all these questions at first. But, they’re essential if you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve hired a qualified individual for repair or replacing an air conditioner.
Tips for Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
Whether you’ve replaced your air conditioner or have decided to have it repaired, it’s also important to take steps to keep it in good working order.
Some basic maintenance will keep your air conditioner working properly and save you a lot of money later on. A few steps that everyone should be taking include:
- Changing filters
- Cleaning coils
- Replacing coil fins
- Clearing out drain channels
- Sealing the area between the air conditioner and the window frame
It’s also important to cover your units or store them properly during the winter months. This simple step will protect them from debris and the effects of harsh weather and ensure that they last as long as possible.
Need Help Repairing or Replacing an Air Conditioner?
Whether you’ve decided that replacing an air conditioner is best for you or repair is the way to go, we can help at Finish Line Heating and Cooling.
We offer installation and repair services to meet all your air conditioning needs.
If you live in or around the Denver metro area, contact us today to request an appointment.