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Should You Repair Or Replace Your Central Air-Conditioning Unit?

Central air-conditioning is a wonderful convenience that lets you stay cool during the hot summer months. However, these units don't last forever, and malfunctioning or old units just eat up your energy, causing your bills to skyrocket. If your unit hasn't been working properly, ask yourself these four questions to help you determine if you should replace or repair your system.

How Old Is Your Unit?

The average lifespan for a central air-conditioning unit is between 10 and 15 years. If your unit is 10 years or older, it is probably better to just replace it. If you choose to repair it now, you'll still need to replace it in a few years, so you actually end up wasting money on a short-term fix.

Another benefit to replacing an older system is that you get a newer, more energy efficient one. If you do choose to repair an older system, even if it does last a few more years, the efficiency significantly decreases during those last years, causing you to use more power to cool your house and increasing your energy bills.

Is There A Leak?

If your unit is older, it may also take R-22 refrigerant, which is rising in costs because the EPA it trying to phase out usage. If this system develops a leak, it's a good idea to just get a new one. In addition to R-22 being phased out, the cost of repairing this type of unit may actually end up costing you the same as a replacement.

Once a leak develops, the compressor usually breaks too. So to actually repair the system, you'll probably need to repair the leak, add more R-22 and replace the compressor, which can equal almost the same as a new low-end unit.

Are You Considering Selling The Home Soon?

If you are considering selling your home in the near future, it may seem like a good idea to purchase a new system to boost the value of your home. However, a new air-conditioning system is an invisible improvement. Like the heating and plumbing systems, many home buyers just expect a home to have them and for them to be in good working order. Therefore, replacing one won't boost the value of your home.

That being said, a completely broken air-conditioning system may not affect the value of your home, but it may be unappealing to potential buyers. If you are selling your home, get your unit repaired. You won't get the money back when you sell your home, but it does increase your chances of actually selling your home.

How Often Does It Need Repairs?

Common problems with central air-conditioning units include noise, odor, uneven temperatures and breakdown. If this is the first time your system has broken down, a repair is your best option because your system is probably still in good condition and an inexpensive repair will keep it working efficiently for years.

However, if you find that your system needs repairs often, such as once a year, you're just wasting money because you shouldn't need that many repairs. If you've repaired your system 9 times, the 10th repair isn't going to suddenly stop it from breaking down. This many repairs means something is seriously wrong with your system or it is just too old. Instead of repairing it every year, just buy a new one. You'll end up saving money in the long run because the new one won't need repairs as often.

 The number one factor to consider when deciding to replace or repair is the age of the unit because most other problems are just a symptom of an aging system. If you think it's time to repair or replace your air-conditioning system, contact a specialist today for additional reading about this topic.