AC Repair vs. Replacement: When Should I Replace My AC?

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Is my AC in need of repair, or would it be best to replace it?

Stressed couple going over financial work

It’s a common question many homeowners ask themselves, but one that isn’t always so easy to answer. There are a number of factors that you will need to consider before making the decision on whether to go ahead with a Morgantown AC repair or replacement.

In this blog, we’ll help you to decide the best path to take with your air conditioner. From taking into account the age of your system to weighing up the benefits of today’s modern AC units, our Morgantown air conditioning experts and Pittsburgh air conditioning experts will help you to reach the right decision with confidence.

Read on to learn more or simply reach out to our Pittsburgh HVAC pros or Morgantown HVAC pros if you have any questions or are ready to schedule service!

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When Is AC Replacement Necessary?

There comes a time when every homeowner experiences a problem with their air conditioning system, and it can happen at any time. It’s a hot day and you hike up the thermostat to pump out refreshing cool air throughout your home. Only this time, nothing happens. There’s no cool breeze coming from your vents and the heat is creeping up by the second. You play with the thermostat, twiddle some knobs and push a few buttons, but nothing. You hope it’s nothing serious, but on the other hand, you’re wondering whether your system might have given up for good.

Air conditioning systems have changed dramatically over the years. From changes in government environmental regulations to advances in cooling technology, today’s systems offer many advantages over their older cousins. If your unit has broken down or isn’t operating as efficiently as it once did, it could be more economical to replace your system instead of arranging repairs.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons we might recommend AC replacement in Pittsburgh or Morgantown over repairing your system.

1) Safety Concern

One of the biggest reasons to consider air conditioning replacement is because there is a safety concern. If your AC unit is presenting a safety risk, such as an irreparable problem with the electrics or refrigerant leaks that cannot be fixed, a replacement might be the best course of action. Arranging an inspection by a qualified HVAC expert is always the wise approach when you are concerned about the stability and safety of your system.

2) AC Unit is Towards the End of Its Lifespan

The age of your system will also play a big part in deciding whether repair or replacement is the best choice. The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is roughly 10 to 15 years. If you are not sure how old your system is, you can check the outside cabinet of your AC system. It should have a nameplate attached that includes the technical specs of your system. At the top of the nameplate, there should be a date showing when the system was manufactured. Sometimes, there may be no date and instead a series of numbers. In this case, take a picture and send it to us! We will be able to check serial numbers and other defining details to work out the age of your system.

Other factors can impact the longevity of your AC system. For example, if you spend a lot of the summer months working away, or if you’re lucky, at your summer house (we can all dream), your home’s AC won’t be used as much. This could mean it lasts longer than its expected average lifespan.

3) Decreased Cooling Effectiveness And Efficiency

If your air conditioning system is not running as efficiently as it used to, it will not cool your home as effectively. You might notice warm spots around your home even though your AC system is operating at full capacity. You might also notice that your energy bills are spiking even though you are setting the same target temperature that you have always done. When choosing a new air conditioning system, it’s a great decision to look for energy-star-labeled products. Products that have earned the energy star rating have met strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. By choosing systems in this category, you can save energy while enhancing the comfort of your home. In turn, you’ll be saving money on your energy bills, and protecting the environment by preventing carbon pollution.

4) Your System Uses R-22 Freon

R-22 freon is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that is commonly used in older air conditioning systems as a refrigerating agent. Most systems installed before 2004 use this type of freon. Due to the damage R-22 can cause to the ozone layer, it is now being phased out by the federal government. If your system uses this type of freon, now is a good time to consider a replacement, especially if your system is frequently breaking down. Manufacturers today are now required to make systems that use non-ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. By replacing your system, you’ll not only be doing something positive for the planet, but you should notice a reduction in your energy costs, too.

5) Frequent Breakdowns

If you seem to be constantly arranging repairs for your AC system, it could be much more economical to arrange a replacement instead. A system that breaks down frequently will eventually give up the ghost completely and it will probably do so on the hottest day of the year! Investing in a new unit offers so many benefits. You’ll enjoy dependable cooling, reduce your energy costs, and improve efficiency and air quality. We’d be delighted to recommend the perfect replacement system to suit your needs and tell you how much you could save by upgrading.

6) Strange Sounds And Smells

An older system could start to get louder and louder over time. You might also notice strange smells coming from your system. As your AC unit ages, parts can start to degrade and faulty components could cause strange sounds such as humming, grinding, and banging. You might also notice musty or damp smells coming from your system. These smells may be caused by a build-up of contaminants in your system that can no longer be cleaned effectively because they are deep inside the inner workings of your unit.

AC Repair vs AC Replacement Cost

When considering the cost of AC repair versus AC replacement in Morgantown, WV or Pittsburgh, PA, it’s essential to weigh the long-term benefits against immediate expenses.

We advise that while minor repairs can be more budget-friendly in the short term, they may only offer a temporary fix. Repair costs can quickly add up, especially for older units that are prone to frequent breakdowns.

On the other hand, investing in a new AC system, although initially more expensive, can lead to significant savings in energy efficiency and fewer repair needs over time.

At Absolute Air, we recommend evaluating the age and condition of your current system, the frequency and cost of past repairs, and the potential energy savings of a new unit to make the best decision for your home and budget. A good rule of thumb is that if your next AC repair is going to cost half of what a new AC installation would cost, you should likely opt for the latter option.

Benefits of AC Replacement vs AC Repair

Replacing your AC unit instead of opting for continuous repairs can offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Enhanced energy efficiency and lower utility bills
  • Advanced technology for optimal performance and lower energy consumption
  • Improved indoor air quality with better filtration
  • Consistent cooling throughout your home
  • Reduced risk of unexpected breakdowns and costly emergency repairs
  • Long-term reliability and peace of mind

With Absolute Air’s expert installation and maintenance services, you can enjoy the full benefits of a new, high-efficiency air conditioning system.

How To Prolong The Life Of Your AC System

Most AC systems can last for up to 15 years, but today’s modern systems could last for even longer when you arrange regular tune-ups. Arranging AC maintenance in Morgantown or Pittsburgh annually means the dilemma of whether to repair or replace won’t be something you need to think about for a long time.

We can arrange a tune-up at your convenience and protect your system from faults and inefficiencies. Our technicians will visit your home and get to work on preparing and priming your system ready for the hot summer season ahead!

To Repair Or Replace Your Air Conditioner? Let Our Experts Guide You!

It’s not always easy to make the decision to repair or replace your AC unit. That’s why it’s a good idea to call in our professionals to help you make the right choice. We’ll carry out a thorough inspection of your system, taking into account its age, type, efficiency, and the cost of replacement against the cost of repair. If it would be more economical to repair your system, we will give you an upfront cost and arrange repairs there and then. If a replacement would be the best choice, we’ll recommend the ideal system and provide you with the specifications of the proposed system and a cost-effective estimate.

To find out more about AC repair or replacement, speak to our team at Absolute Air. We’re dedicated to your comfort and will give you the best advice to suit your situation and budget!

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