Couple reviewing energy bills

How to Determine if It’s Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

When your air conditioner in the Main Line breaks down, it can be hard to know if it’s time for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long term. The answer isn’t similar for every homeowner. For instance, a system that has been serviced regularly could be a better candidate for an AC repair because it will generally have a longer existence than another system that hasn’t been maintained. Many other factors should be taken into account 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 verdict to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Dated systems usually don’t run as effectively as they did when they were new—and particularly not as well as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could lower your energy consumption by more than you thought possible if you swap out your aged system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Most often, this savings will justify investment in a replacement system.

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

Outside your unit’s age, check out your AC repair history. If your system has failed several times, it’s probable to break down again—this scenario can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you consider possible rebates and enhanced efficiency, is a new system going to be more cost-effective over time?

Many experts advise 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, change the system. If it’s less, go for 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 indication that your air conditioner is breaking down.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your unit is too small for your home, it can’t function properly. Also, if you’ve not long ago worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can in fact be larger 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, O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning can help! Our professionals can help you determine how much life remains in your system and what the best option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 610-626-2540 or arrange an appointment for us to check it out using our online scheduler.