Imagine you’re meeting with an HVAC technician for the first time for some air conditioning repair in Pasadena, CA. Your AC is about 12 years old, which is pretty old based on industry standards, but it still works and you figure the repair won’t be too bad. When the technician diagnoses the problem, he tells you that the repairs will be $600—way more affordable than a replacement air conditioner. Sounds good, right?
Well, let’s not be too hasty. Sure, a replacement is going to cost a lot more money, but it’s also going to last much longer than your ancient AC you’re about to repair. If all this number-crunching sounds confusing, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got some tried and tested rules that technicians use for measuring whether or not it’s a better idea to repair or replace.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your HVAC technician is honest with you and not just trying to make a buck. That being said, let’s talk!
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Not every technician or contractor uses the same rule for determining the path to tread. That’s why we’d like to provide a couple of rules for you to use, so that you have a better idea of what a professional would tell you.
The 5,000 Rule
This is a handy trick that many contractors use to determine what the most cost-effective solution will be for a homeowner. This tip is simple, you take the age of your AC (in this case, 12) and multiply it by the repair cost ($600). If the number is more than $5,000, then it’s likely you’ll save more money in the long run by upgrading to a replacement AC. If not, then pay for the repairs and keep on keeping on. It’s that easy!
The Total Cost Rule
This one requires a little bit more record-keeping and calculating for the more mathematically inclined homeowners. Basically, you start by tallying up all the costs of repairs your AC has had over its lifespan. Once you’ve got that covered, compare that number to the quote your HVAC technician gave you on a replacement. If the total cost of repairs on your old unit is greater than half the cost of a replacement, go ahead and replace your old AC. If the total cost of repairs is less than half the cost of a replacement AC, you’ve still got plenty of time left with your current system.
Sure, this avenue is a bit more complicated and requires some great record-keeping, but it could end up saving you money in the long run.
Other Things to Consider
Does your ailing AC run on R-22 refrigerant? Does it not break down but run inefficiently? Are your energy bills way too high? Sometimes there’s more that goes into the decision of whether or not to repair or replace your AC. While we can’t cover them in this blog post, we’re bound to touch on them later. In the meantime, make sure you ask any relevant questions to your HVAC service professional so they can add any valuable information to your decision-making process. Good luck!
Looking to replace your old AC? Contact Total Comfort, Inc. today!