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How to Decide Whether to Repair a Faulty AC or Replace It

air-conditioning-repair-replacementAir conditioners tend to break down during the late summer more than any other season year, especially older units which may finally fail after months of keeping a home cool and comfortable. We receive a large number of AC repair calls during this time of year, especially in homes with older air conditioners. And breakdowns late in the season force the homeowner to make a significant decision: repair the damage now and keep the old system running, or replace it with a new system entirely?

Only the individual can make that call. Every home is different, and so too are the specific needs of the air conditioner. There are, however, two factors that can make the decision easier: the state of the warranty and the extent of the costs involved.

The Warranty

Most air conditioners come with a warranty lasting about 8–12 years from the time of purchase, though the specifics vary depending upon the type of air conditioner. As long as the warranty is in effect, the original part of the air conditioner will be replaced with new ones free of charge. This reduces the cost of repairs immensely—in some cases limiting it solely to the cost of labor—which almost always makes repairs a more sensible option than replacement as long as the warranty remains in place.

Even after the warranty has expired, it may still be more cost-effective to repair the system instead of replacing it. (One of the reasons we recommend regular annual air conditioning maintenance is that it helps lower the cost and risk of repairs late in the air conditioner’s service life.) Replacement should be considered only after the warranty has expired and the costs have become more than the old system is worth.

The Costs

In most cases such as these, cost refers to the cost of repairs, but it also refers to the frequency and extent of them. A single repair of a key component may cost more than it’s worth to keep the system running, and in those cases, the technician may recommend replacing the whole air conditioner instead. But watch out for multiple smaller repair jobs as well. If a given system requires more than two repair calls in the same 12-month period, it may be time to install a new one in its place.

The same goes for systems that don’t exhibit any obvious signs of problems, but which have grown less and less efficient as the years go by. Old, worn-down air conditioners can cost a great deal more to run than newer ones, and while the summer may be winding down, there are still several weeks of hot days to come. Replacing an air conditioner that has cost far too much in high monthly bills this summer can ease the strain on household budgets for the remainder of the summer.

If the air conditioner in your Rye, NY home has broken down and you need a repair and replacement service, call on Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators today!

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