HVAC technician working on heating and air unit

Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

So your air conditioner has broken down in the middle of summer. How annoying. If you’re like most homeowners, the first thing you think is that you need to have it repaired as soon as possible so you can get some relief from the summer heat once again, but is that always the best decision. Most homeowners are surprised when they find out that a repair isn’t always the best idea—sometimes it’s better to just bite the bullet and replace your system completely. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing between a repair and a replacement.

System Age

Your current system’s age is perhaps the single most important factor when deciding whether or not you should repair it or get a full replacement instead. Over the last couple of decades, technology has advanced considerably, both in terms of making systems more effective while also making them more energy-efficient. Some estimates even suggest that a system that’s 20 years old today uses twice the amount of electricity as a comparable modern unit. When you consider that heating and cooling make up nearly half of your annual energy consumption, the average homeowner could cut down their energy bills by as much as 25 percent by replacing their outdated air conditioner.

Likewise, an older system is more prone to breaking down again as parts continue to age, wear out, and become ineffective. While you may be paying less for a repair now, you’ll have to start paying for more repairs as your system continues to get older. If your system is more than 15 years old, you should strongly consider replacing it—you’ll save money on expensive repair services almost immediately.

Your Budget

Of course, not everyone can afford to replace their system the moment it gives out. In fact, it seems like these things always find a way to happen at the worst possible time. In these instances, you may wish to go with a simple repair since it’s what you can afford. If that’s all you can afford, then that’s fine and what you should do. But if you need to replace your system and you can make it work with your budget, then it’s highly advised that you do so. Over time, the long-term rewards and savings will dramatically outweigh the costs of this installation now.

Usage Habits

Your air conditioner may be older, but there are several other things to consider. Do you run your system constantly, or only on the hottest days of the year? How big of an area does your system have to cool? Do you regularly maintain your air conditioner? If you treat your air conditioner better, you may be able to get away with a simple repair because your system is in better condition. Odds are, after your repair, you probably won’t need to repair it again for a while so long as everything else is in good shape. If you don’t maintain your air conditioner, odds are a repair probably won’t keep your system running again for that much longer before you’ll need to make another repair. Likewise, systems that have far more wear and tear from heavier running hours will need replacement sooner than those that only run on occasion.

Looking to repair or replace your air conditioner? Call the Boston air conditioning experts at Winters Home Services today at (617) 977-3101 to schedule your service appointment!
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