If your central air conditioner has broken down, you need to decide whether to repair or replace the system. It may seem that repair is a better option because of the lower cost. However, you should consider other factors before making a final decision.
Repair or Replace?
Here are seven tips for deciding whether to repair or replace an ailing air conditioner:
- Determine the age of your current air conditioner. If the system is more than 10 years old, replacement may be the better option if you're looking at serious repairs.
- Check your current AC system's efficiency. Before 2010, the minimum rating was Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 10. Now, the minimum is SEER 13. If the SEER rating on your current unit is 10 or less, you should consider replacement. You'll begin earning a return on your investment almost immediately.
- Inspect the condition of your ductwork. As your ductwork ages, it will develop gaps and leaks that waste energy. Making simple repairs to the ductwork may fix the problem with your old system without the need to replace it.
- Verify the ductwork is properly configured. Some ductwork configurations are inefficient. Making some changes to the ductwork could solve your current cooling issues.
- Look at how efficiently your home is insulated. If your home is poorly insulated, no matter how efficient the AC is, it will not keep your home comfortable. Upgrading the insulation is easier and cheaper than replacing the system.
- Verify your home envelope is tight. If you have air gaps in your home around windows and doors, seal them with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping, depending on the type of leak. You may find your system is working fine once you seal your home.
- Make sure your AC system is properly sized for your home. If your AC is undersized, it has to work overtime. Oversized systems, on the other hand, waste energy, suffer unnecessary wear and tear, and have trouble providing balanced cooling. Upgrading your air conditioner to a properly sized unit will save on energy bills and long-term repair costs.
Based on the information you gather using these tips, you will be able to make the best decision about repairing or replacing your AC. If you want an HVAC contractor to look at your system and make a recommendation, contact us here at Comfort24-7.com.
Written by Randy Gailit