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Repair or Replace the AC: Why It’s a Tricky Choice

old-air-conditionerAir conditioners never shut down “for the season” in Katy. They only get less use during stretches of the year. Because we’re entering one of those cooler periods, you have an opportunity to make a big change to your air conditioner if it’s malfunctioning: replace it. You’ll have no trouble managing an AC replacement in Katy, TX with us during the late fall.

But … is the malfunctioning AC ready to be replaced? Maybe it’s worthwhile to repair it. But, if the repair only squeezes another year or two from the air conditioner, that wouldn’t be worth it. And new air conditioners have better efficiency, so you’d start saving money. But a new AC is a large expense, and what if the repair is money-saver and …

Aaaaagh! Help, I don’t know what to do!

We hear you. This isn’t a simple choice

Getting your brain twisted into knots over whether it’s time to install a new air conditioner is something many homeowners go through. Believe us, we’ve helped plenty of people make it through a tricky choice like that. A home’s comfort is on the line, but a wrong choice can make a serious dent in a bank account.

The important first step is to slow down and not rush to make a choice. You can’t “impulse buy” HVAC equipment. Some thinking and calculating goes into the choice of whether it’s time for a new air conditioner.

“The Rule of 5,000”

To help you start thinking about the state of your AC and if replacing it is worth the cost, use the “Rule of 5,000.” Call us to schedule a technician to come to your home and check on your malfunctioning air conditioner. They can provide an estimate on repairs. Multiply the estimate by the age of the AC (which you can find on the manufacturer’s plate on the back of the cabinet). If the result is a number higher than 5,000, the repair is probably not worth it. For example, if your air conditioner is 14 years old and out of warranty, a repair that costs $200 isn’t too steep (14 X 200 = 2,800). But a repair of $400 moves into questionable territory (14 X 400 = 5,600).

“The Rule of More Than 50%”

Here’s another way to consider the value of a repair for an old air conditioner. Along with the repair estimate, find out from the technician the cost of a replacement. Ask for numbers on different models. Is the price of the repair greater than 50% of the price of a replacement? If it is, a replacement looks more appealing.

High-efficiency models

You may have your eye on an AC with high energy efficiency compared to your current one. Some models today have SEER ratings in the 20s, where old models were around 13–14 SEER. High-efficiency air conditioners cost more to install, but the savings may pay you back. Again, ask your technician for advice. Every home is different, so there’s never an answer that applies to all situations.

You Comfort Is Our Business at AC Comfort. How can we make you more comfortable today?

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