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How To Know If Your AC Unit Needs To Be Repaired Or Replaced

Heating and cooling your home is a must especially here in the Charleston Lowcountry, but keeping it working can be a tremendous burden for homeowners. One of the biggest reasons why a homeowner may not be able to keep their unit from developing problems is when they don't know if their AC needs repairs or replacement.


In order to maintain airflow in your home, regular maintenance on an air conditioning unit is critical. This will cut down on major repairs or replacements later in life. In today's article, we'll discuss how you can tell whether you need to repair or replace your AC system based on the following five symptoms: low airflow, frequent breakdowns, insufficient cooling flow rates, loud noises, and spotty performance.



What is the average lifespan of a typical AC unit?


In general, the average lifespan of a typical AC unit is about 10 years. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of the AC unit, as well as how well it is maintained. Typically, if an AC unit is kept clean and free of dust and debris, and if any necessary repairs are made in a timely manner, it will last longer than if it is not taken care of properly.


The average lifespan of a typical AC unit can vary depending on the make and model of the AC unit, as well as how well it is maintained. Typically, if an AC unit is kept clean and free of dust and debris, and if any necessary repairs are made in a timely manner, it will last longer than if it is not taken care of properly.


There are a few things that can shorten the lifespan of an AC unit. For example, operating the AC unit in temperatures that are too high or too low can wear it down prematurely; additionally, if the filter is not cleaned or replaced regularly, the AC unit will have to work harder to cool the air which can reduce its lifespan. Overall, however, if the AC unit is properly maintained, it should last an average of about 10 years.


So should you choose repair or replace? Let's lay it out in more detail...


Repair vs Replace


First, let’s take a look at the cost of repairs. Oftentimes, it is cheaper to repair an existing unit than to buy and install a new one. However, this can vary depending on the age and condition of your current unit. In addition, repairs may not be feasible in certain cases – for example, if the current unit was not designed to work with a new system, you may need to replace both units.


Next, it is important to consider the age and condition of your current HVAC system. If your system is more than 15 years old, then chances are that you will have greater savings by replacing your unit as opposed to repairing it. In addition, if the cost of repairs would be a large percentage of what a new unit would cost – say 70% or more – then replacement may be more affordable in the long run.


In many cases, the operative lifespan of an HVAC unit can vary from 15-20 years . Oftentimes, this lifespan is affected by how well it has been maintained over the years. By following proper maintenance guidelines from the manufacturer of your unit, you will be more likely to get a longer life out of it. In addition, if repairs are too costly – say they would cost more than half of the total value of the system – then replacement may also make more sense financially.


Lastly, consider how long you plan on staying in your current home. If you have a short-term stay – say less than 3 years – then replacement may not be worth it. However, if you plan on staying for many years, then replacing now could save you money in the future.


Replace vs Repair


If your current HVAC unit is on the verge of quitting it might be time to think about replacing it. If this will be a replacement for an older model you need to consider if your budget can afford the purchase and installation costs that will come along with the new one.


When deciding between repair or replacement you should ask yourself these questions: How old is my system? Is my system properly maintained? Does my heating and cooling system work correctly throughout the entire range of temperatures? Do I need more humidity control than mine provides? How much energy does my current unit use? Answering these questions will help you determine whether to go with a repair or replacement.


There are many benefits to upgrading to a newer, high-efficiency HVAC system. An energy-efficient HVAC unit uses less electricity to produce the same amount of air conditioning as a standard model, which can help reduce your air conditioning costs. If you are upgrading from an old unit that's more than 10 years old, there are many federal, state, and utility company rebates, tax credits, and financing options available today to make the transition affordable.


If your home requires major repairs to remain comfortable, it may be time for a replacement. If your heating or cooling system is on its last legs, don't sweat it—new units are generally more efficient than ever before. Many manufacturers offer some really great incentives when you choose to go with their units so be sure to ask what they can offer you.


If your unit is on the fritz, you might be able to repair it, but it's important to consider what will happen if you choose this route. A new unit with a warranty may not cost as much as you think and can ultimately provide greater value than trying to fix an old system and ending up right back where you started—just older and wiser. Before making a final decision, determine whether or not your HVAC system is worth repairing. If any of the following apply, it might be time for replacement:


-Your current Air Conditioner is at least 10 years old


-Your equipment has been repaired 3 times in the past year


-An emergency repair was needed recently.


If any of the above apply, replacement is probably the best option for your home. You can also contact an HVAC contractor and ask what their opinion would be on whether or not you should replace or repair your current unit. They will most likely recommend replacement unless repairs are relatively minor and inexpensive which could save some money.


What are the costs involved to replace my AC system?


The start of summer is right around the corner, which means AC system sales are projected to increase. The typically high demand for new AC systems during the beginning of summer has many consumers wondering what they should expect to pay for a full AC replacement. Here are some factors that will influence how much it costs you to replace your AC system:


The cost of your AC system replacement will depend on the size of your home, how many rooms it's equipped with, and the type of AC unit you have.

First, you need to know what size is necessary for your home. Next, depending on whether or not you upgrade the inside wiring to handle additional electrical power for more efficient airflow throughout your home will determine if an external disconnect switch needs to be installed. This adds time and money to your AC installation project. If you don't upgrade at least some of that internal wiring (which most people do), then expect to pay less in AC repairs because there won't be a need for an external disconnect switch installation.


If the new AC unit has different density filters than what was originally in your home, then expect to pay more for supplies like an air filter and a compressor rental (if needed).


The last major factor that contributes to the overall cost of replacing your AC unit is what type of condenser you buy; there are three types:


1. Central Air - this system features both an outdoor and indoor unit. The coils inside the furnace will most likely need to be upgraded with a larger model. This means you'll have to pay for labor costs on two units at once, not just one.


2. Ductless Mini Split - these contain only an outdoor unit and require very little installation work since they attach directly to your existing ductwork with minimal setup from contractors. However, if you live in a part of the country where extreme weather is common, you may have to pay more for a unit with better coils designed to handle ice build-up and freezing temperatures.


3. Ducted Split System - this option features an outdoor unit connected directly to your home's ductwork. The installation process will be relatively painless because it doesn't require any new ducts or wiring. However, there is a possibility that some internal components in your existing AC system (like cooling coils) might need replacing when an upgrade like this is done since the older model cannot handle larger units running through its systems.


If you do decide on getting a replacement installed, remember these factors when it comes time to negotiate with contractors.


Wrap Up


In the world of HVAC systems, there are two main choices for homeowners: repair or replace. Repair is a cost-effective option when your system starts to show its age and signs of wear and tear. Replacing an old system with a brand new one is also an option in certain circumstances, but it's not always the best decision. Here are some things you should consider before taking either route.


1) Age - How old is my AC? If your unit was installed at least 10 years ago, then chances are it may be nearing the end of its life expectancy. It may still function well enough to get by until summer comes around again next year, but if you're planning on staying put for a while longer than that (or if you just want to get the best life out of your system), then it might be time to schedule an HVAC service company.


2) Model - What is my unit? There are certain models that have been discontinued over the years due to bad performance or other factors, so trying to repair a 10+ year old unit can sometimes be pointless since spare parts may no longer exist. This also goes for specific brands and types of units, so before making any decisions about repair or replacement you should know exactly what type of AC system is installed in your home.


3) Condition - How often does my heating and cooling system need service? A well-maintained HVAC will require less downtime when something inevitably goes wrong; after all, a well-oiled machine runs better and lasts longer. In order to keep your AC unit running efficiently, it should be serviced once per year by an HVAC company that specializes in commercial or residential air conditioning service.


4) Frequency - Is my AC currently broken? If your system is already not working properly then you need to get it serviced immediately! Trying to repair a failed system can often lead to more problems and end up costing you even more money than if you had just gotten the whole thing replaced when it was still running properly.

5) Cost - How much is the repair going to cost me? Repair costs go beyond just the price of parts and labor. You may need to pay for a permit, disposal fees or other additional expenses such as connecting your new unit to electrical lines and gas lines if necessary.

When deciding between repairing vs replacing you should consider all possible factors so that you can make an informed decision that best fits your own needs and budget. ClimateMakers is here to help make the process easy for you. We offer free in-home consultations so that we can assess your specific needs and provide you with the best possible solution. We also have a wide range of financing options available so that you can choose the payment plan that works best for you.




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