If you start hearing a rattle and clank noise from inside of your HVAC unit, you might think it’s about time to replace your home air conditioner. You could be right. But, if you’re lucky, all you may need to do is have a professional inspect the issue and deal with the broken parts instead of replacing the entire unit. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the difference between the need for repair and the need for replacement, or at least know who to call to ask for help. So, before you think you need to replace your entire air conditioner, consider the following…then give our professional cooling experts a call at 800.253.9001.
Time to Replace Home Air Conditioner?
1. Age of the Unit
HVAC units tend to cycle very quickly and replacing a home air conditioner might be the best idea when it comes to older units. Many owners use the “5000 rule.” This rule states that if the owner multiplies the cost of repairs by the age of the unit and it comes up to more than $5,000, then it’s better to simply replace the entire unit. If a unit is over a decade old, replacing it with a more energy-efficient unit might be in the homeowner’s best interest, since the long-term savings on energy would be far more than what the current unit is likely to offer.
2. Refrigerant Leaks
Older AC units come with refrigerants that can be harmful to the environment, but if they don’t leak they’re not much of a problem. When a leak does occur, however, it might be best to start looking into replacements. R-22 refrigerant can cost between $40 and $170 per pound. Fixing a refrigerant leak can run into the thousands of dollars, almost the same as paying for a brand-new unit. Modern units have all but done away with R-22 as a coolant and are now moving towards the more environmentally friendly (and economically feasible) R410-A refrigerant.
3. Other Factors
Aside from the age (which is the major factor in determining whether replacement is necessary or not), a couple other factors can also play a part in the final decision to repair or replace the AC unit. Fist, if the unit needs to be repaired often, then it may be a more economical decision to replace it. Secondly, the cost of energy is also a concern. If you notice your energy bill unusually higher than normal, it may be a sign that your air conditioner is struggling to get the job done efficiently (costing you more in the long run).
Repair or Replace Home Air Conditioner?
A homeowner’s main goal should be to achieve long-term viability rather than a short-term fix. Replacing an air conditioner has the benefit of getting to experience one that energy standards and is efficient in every sense of the word. Regularly servicing your AC is more cost-effective to prevent bigger problems down the road. Call the experts at Princeton Fuel Oil Heating & Air Conditioning for help weighing your options and understanding the pros and cons of repairing or replacing your AC unit.