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

When your air conditioner in the Bay Area stops working, it can be difficult to know if it’s time for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long run. The answer isn’t similar for every homeowner. For example, a system that has been serviced regularly could be a better candidate for an AC repair because it will probably have a longer lifetime than another system that hasn’t been maintained. Many other aspects should be thought about in addition 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 huge factor in your choice to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Older systems usually don’t run as efficiently as they did when they were new—and especially not as effectively as a new, energy-efficient model. Actually, you could decrease your energy consumption by more than you may think if you exchange 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 recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your present-day central air conditioner is greater than 10 years old.

Past your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has failed several times, it’s likely to break down again—this circumstance can end up costing you more money in the long run. When you take into account likely rebates and improved efficiency, is a new system going to be more economical over time?

Many experts suggest following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your unit by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, replace the system. If it’s less, just get the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cozy enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t working properly.
  • Are your energy bills spiking without enhanced usage? This is a sign that your air conditioner is failing.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t run efficiently. Just the same, if you’ve not long ago worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can essentially be bigger 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, Contra Costa Heating & AC can help! Our specialists 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 510-343-9841 to setup an appointment for us to visit you.

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