Repairing your Air Conditioner or Heater versus Replacing


What to Consider – If your Air Conditioning or Heating System fails occasionally you are faced with a choice, to repair the existing unit by replacing parts or by buying a new Air Conditioning and Heating System. Some Air Conditioning & Heating Companies push a certain solution based on what is convenient or what method earns them the most money. You should decide whether to repair or replace a unit based on what is in YOUR best interest. To help with this important decision we have gathered this important information for you to consider.

The Three Main Factors – When considering whether to replace your existing unit the three main factors to consider are the life expectancy, efficiency and current condition of the unit. Each must be considered carefully before you decide whether to repair or replace your unit. If any of these factors is a problem area then you should consider replacement and if two or three are problems then replacement is almost always your best bet.

Life Expectancy – Most units last only 10-12 years, after that point they become expensive to repair and break down often. After this time the parts are sometimes discontinued which causes them to be more expensive if not completely unavailable. Consider the age of your equipment when you decide whether to replace or repair. If a unit is ten years old or older it is nearing its life expectancy. You can add at least four years to this number if you have consistently had it professionally maintained during this time.

Efficiency – If you completely restore an aging unit, which is expensive to do, you will still only have the efficiency that it was rated for when it was manufactured, at best. Older units are much less efficient than newer ones due to constant improvements and increasing energy standards imposed by the Government, so replacing your unit can save you money if your unit is old and inefficient. Units are rated by SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. An easy way to understand these ratings is as follows: a unit that is rated at 10 SEER gets ten units of cooling for a set amount of electricity, a unit rated a 14 SEER gets 14 units for the same amount of electricity so you get 40% more cooling for the same amount of electricity. Saving of up to 60% or more on your electric or gas bill is possible when you replace your unit with high efficient equipment. In a lot of cases installing a new furnace and/or air conditioning system can pay for itself in energy saving within a relatively short time.

Current Conditions – Consider the current condition of your unit when you decide whether to repair or replace. Factors to consider are the quality of the equipment (reputable brand, builder’s model, etc.), number of breakdowns and how often the unit has been maintained. If your unit hasn’t been maintained, is an inferior quality or has frequent breakdowns consider replacement as a serious option. No matter the skill of the installer or service professional there is little that can be done with a unit that is in very poor condition besides restoring the unit which is almost always prohibitively expensive.

Getting Professional Advice from a Reputable Company – A reputable company can help educate the consumer so that they can make an informed decision about the replacement or the repair of an existing air conditioner or heater. Repairing your unit may be the cheapest solution in the short term but may be more expensive down the road. If your unit is old, breaks down often and consumes more energy than a newer system, installing a new system can more than pay for itself over time. If not, then simple repairs may be the smarter option. A reputable company, like United Air Conditioning of Central Florida, Inc., should be able to walk you through your options. In the end the decision is yours.

Note on Matching Systems and other Pitfalls – Whenever your condensing unit (the unit outside) goes out, most reputable air conditioning technicians will recommend that you replace your indoor air handler at the same time. Because the two units must be matched so that your new outdoor unit can work at maximum efficiency. Improperly matched units will shorten the lifespan of your new unit. This is just one of the many pitfalls that need to be avoided when replacing a system. Do not make a serious mistake when buying a system. Consult a reputable professional, like United Air Conditioning of Central Florida, Inc.