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3-Step Process for Deciding If You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner

Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner

As we approach the end of summer, many people are faced with this question: “Should I repair my broken air conditioner or buy a new one?”

While the answer will differ greatly from person to person, here’s a quick three-step process you can go through to help you determine which option is right for you.

  1. How much have past repairs cost you?

Did you know that the upfront purchase price of an air conditioner is only around 10-15% the total lifetime cost of the equipment? The remaining 85-90% of your expenses goes toward utility bills and repairs.

You can easily spend around $35,000 over the lifespan of your air conditioner. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right equipment to begin with.

Deciding whether to repair your current air conditioner or buy a new one is basically a decision of long-term vs. short-term benefits. Do you want to save a little money now or a lot of money over time?

One of the ways you can help make your decision easier is by considering how much you’ve spent on past repairs and how much the current repair will cost. You can then take this number and divide it by the number of months to give you an idea of how much your air conditioner is costing you each month (just in repairs.)

For example, if you’ve had three repairs in the last 6 months for a total of $1500, that’s roughly $250/month. And if your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, you can expect that trend to continue to increase.

If you are experiencing frequent repairs and high energy bills, your cooling equipment is getting older and less efficient. It’s time to replace it.

  1. How old is your air conditioning unit?

Air conditioners can last around 20 years, but efficiency starts to noticeably decline after just 10 years. At 15 years old, it’s a good idea to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient model.

You can find out the age, model number, SEER rating, and more by going outside and finding the label on your outdoor unit. Write down the model number (M/N) and serial number (S/N) and conduct a quick online search.

By replacing an air conditioner that is older than 10 years, you can save around 20-40 percent on cooling costs (US Department of Energy).

  1. How efficient is your current air conditioner? What is the SEER rating?

Another major part of the long-term vs. short-term benefits is the energy efficiency of your current air conditioner.

Upgrading n air conditioner that is 10 years old to an ENERGY STAR-qualified model can save you around 30% on your energy bills. That adds up over the years to thousands of dollars. This doesn’t even take into consideration the money you save on repair and maintenance costs.

Air conditioning efficiency is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.) You can see how much you might save with this energy-saving calculator.

When looking for replacement air conditioners, choose one with a SEER rating of at least 15. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the air conditioner.

Ask your HVAC contractor about a variable speed air handler and thermal expansion valve for additional efficiency. And if you live in a humid climate, the sensible heat ration should be at least .7.

Get an estimate for a new air conditioner

Once you know how much your current air conditioner is costing you (in terms of efficiency and repairs), you can compare it against the cost of a new one.

Don’t forget to factor in current state and federal rebates and the possibility of low monthly payments. For information on rebates and additional savings, contact Service Champions.

No one can really tell you what the best option will be for you, but using these three steps, you’ll at least be able to make a more informed decision. Make the decision that’s best for you.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to try to time your cooling and heating replacements. If your furnace is over 15 years old, you should replace both at the same time. Since the blower motor is usually a part of the furnace, in order for your air conditioner to perform to its rated efficiency, you will need to connect it to a new furnace and blower motor. Learn more about why you should replace your cooling and heating system at the same time.

Replacing your old air conditioning unit with a more efficient ENERGY STAR-qualified one will improve your savings and comfort while helping to protect the environment. Learn everything you need to know before buying a new air conditioning system.

If you need more help or would like to schedule a free estimate for your Northern California home, don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions.

Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner

As we approach the end of summer, many people are faced with this question: “Should I repair my broken air conditioner or buy a new one?”

While the answer will differ greatly from person to person, here’s a quick three-step process you can go through to help you determine which option is right for you.

  1. How much have past repairs cost you?

Did you know that the upfront purchase price of an air conditioner is only around 10-15% the total lifetime cost of the equipment? The remaining 85-90% of your expenses goes toward utility bills and repairs.

You can easily spend around $35,000 over the lifespan of your air conditioner. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right equipment to begin with.

Deciding whether to repair your current air conditioner or buy a new one is basically a decision of long-term vs. short-term benefits. Do you want to save a little money now or a lot of money over time?

One of the ways you can help make your decision easier is by considering how much you’ve spent on past repairs and how much the current repair will cost. You can then take this number and divide it by the number of months to give you an idea of how much your air conditioner is costing you each month (just in repairs.)

For example, if you’ve had three repairs in the last 6 months for a total of $1500, that’s roughly $250/month. And if your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, you can expect that trend to continue to increase.

If you are experiencing frequent repairs and high energy bills, your cooling equipment is getting older and less efficient. It’s time to replace it.

  1. How old is your air conditioning unit?

Air conditioners can last around 20 years, but efficiency starts to noticeably decline after just 10 years. At 15 years old, it’s a good idea to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient model.

You can find out the age, model number, SEER rating, and more by going outside and finding the label on your outdoor unit. Write down the model number (M/N) and serial number (S/N) and conduct a quick online search.

By replacing an air conditioner that is older than 10 years, you can save around 20-40 percent on cooling costs (US Department of Energy).

  1. How efficient is your current air conditioner? What is the SEER rating?

Another major part of the long-term vs. short-term benefits is the energy efficiency of your current air conditioner.

Upgrading n air conditioner that is 10 years old to an ENERGY STAR-qualified model can save you around 30% on your energy bills. That adds up over the years to thousands of dollars. This doesn’t even take into consideration the money you save on repair and maintenance costs.

Air conditioning efficiency is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.) You can see how much you might save with this energy-saving calculator.

When looking for replacement air conditioners, choose one with a SEER rating of at least 15. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the air conditioner.

Ask your HVAC contractor about a variable speed air handler and thermal expansion valve for additional efficiency. And if you live in a humid climate, the sensible heat ration should be at least .7.

Get an estimate for a new air conditioner

Once you know how much your current air conditioner is costing you (in terms of efficiency and repairs), you can compare it against the cost of a new one.

Don’t forget to factor in current state and federal rebates and the possibility of low monthly payments. For information on rebates and additional savings, contact Service Champions.

No one can really tell you what the best option will be for you, but using these three steps, you’ll at least be able to make a more informed decision. Make the decision that’s best for you.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to try to time your cooling and heating replacements. If your furnace is over 15 years old, you should replace both at the same time. Since the blower motor is usually a part of the furnace, in order for your air conditioner to perform to its rated efficiency, you will need to connect it to a new furnace and blower motor. Learn more about why you should replace your cooling and heating system at the same time.

Replacing your old air conditioning unit with a more efficient ENERGY STAR-qualified one will improve your savings and comfort while helping to protect the environment. Learn everything you need to know before buying a new air conditioning system.

If you need more help or would like to schedule a free estimate for your Northern California home, don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions.

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