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How to Determine if Its Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Sacramento fails, it can be tricky to know if it’s a sign for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a greater option for the future. The answer isn’t the same for every homeowner. E.g., a system that has been serviced regularly could be a smarter candidate for an AC repair because it will probably have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other influences should be taken into account on top of to this. We’ve got some questions that can help lead you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a large factor in your choice to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Older systems usually don’t run as well as they did when they were new—and definitely not as efficiently as a new, energy-efficient model. In fact, you could reduce your energy consumption by more than you thought possible if you replace your aged system with a new, energy-efficient unit. In many circumstances, this savings will support investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can change based on your exact equipment and how well it’s been cared for, but Energy Star proposes upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is greater than 10 years old.

Outside your unit’s age, look at your AC repair history. If your system has stopped working several times, it’s likely to stop working again—this scenario can end up costing you more money in the long run. When you consider possible rebates and enhanced efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective in the future?

Many professionals suggest following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your equipment by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, change the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house comfortable enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t keeping up.
  • Are your energy bills spiking without increased usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is failing.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your system is too small for your home, it can’t run efficiently. Likewise, if you’ve just worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can actually be greater than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re not sure if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to think about a replacement, American HVAC Inc can help! Our professionals can help you decide how much life is left in your system and what the best option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 916-243-6714 to setup an appointment for us to check it out.