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Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Figuring out whether you should repair your ac or replace your air conditioner can be a difficult decision to make.  Here at Prime AC and Heat, you’d be surprised at how often we get called out for a second opinion, only to find that the old AC has plenty of life still in it and doesn’t need to be replaced, as other contractors have told them. So here is a guide to help you when it comes time to replace your air conditioner,or when to invest money into repairing it.  

It's the middle of the summer and you have no air or your waiting for the time of the year were companies are promoting replacements deals. To begin with, replacing an air conditioner can be a pricy endeavor, so make sure that your old AC unit has waived the white flag or you're paying too much electricity to operate it. And to be clear, in most circumstances, an air conditioner can be repaired.

Remember that anything can be repaired, but just like pouring money into an old car, at some point is becomes more financially prudent for you to just replace it with a new one

AC Replacement Guide

1.Replace If Your AC Is Over 15 Years

When figuring out whether to repair or replace your air conditioner, take a look at its age.  An air conditioner has a typical lifespan of around 10-15 years. So if your air conditioner is acting up, your repair bill is getting costly and it is over 15-years-old, then it might be better to replace it. 

An air conditioner will start to break-down more often as it reaches 15 years of age and beyond. Did you just have it serviced last year, and it’s broken again? Did you add refrigerant last year and now its low again, and this spring it needs a new compressor? These are the instances where it becomes more viable to replace an air conditioner, vice repair it, so start thinking along those lines.  I realize it’s a pricey investment, but remember…it’s just that – an investment – in the comfort of your home.  

2. Replace Your Air Conditioner if the Repair Cost is Too High

When you’re facing an expensive repair, you’ll want to weigh the costs of the repair against the costs of a new unit. If the cost of the repair would cover a large part of a new system, and especially if your air conditioner is showing any of the other signs of future breakdowns and more costly repairs, it will likely make more financial sense to replace it.

Ok so you're probably asking what this means..  Multiply the cost of your repair by the age of your old unit (in years).  If the result is LESS than the cost of the new air conditioner that you want, then it is worth investing in a repair.  If you have no idea what a replacement air conditioner will cost, then just use “$4,000.”

3.Replace Your AC If Energy Bills Keep's Rising 

If you’ve noticed that your energy bills keep rising, but your Electrical Utility Company hasn’t raised the rates…then it might be time to replace your air conditioner. Air-conditioning equipment is used in 87% of homes in the United States and, according to the latest EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), home air-conditioning costs averaged $265 in 2015, or 17% of total home energy expenditures.

If your air conditioner has a low SEER RATING, it can cost you a lot of money to operate it. Check out our SEER SAVINGS CALCULATOR  to see average saving with a more efficient air conditioning system. Currently, newly manufactured air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 14 for the Southwest Region (Texas). If your air conditioner SEER rating below that, you can cut back on your energy costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient unit.

4.Replace Your AC When Your Home Is No Longer Comfortable 

It's the middle of the summer and your home is having a hard time keeping your home cool. Some rooms just can't seem to keep up, especially when the humidity kicks up. This is a telltale sign of an aging air conditioner or even an incorrectly sized system. Regardless of the cause, you want your air conditioner to do its job! If it’s not going to keep your home cool, you’ll want to replace it with a unit that will.


Air conditioners lose efficiency over time and might need to be replaced like any other mechanical machine. Normal wear and tear will eventually keep your air conditioning system from cooling properly.   Your current ac unit might have cut it when it was installed, but many older houses (pre-2000) did not have adequate insulation for today’s temperatures, electricity cost was a lot cheaper back then too.

Is your AC always running on hot days?  Do some rooms feel hot no matter what you set your thermostat to?  Modern air conditioners are designed to save energy by not running so often, meaning that they are often times sized differently than they used to be.

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