Should I Replace or Repair my AC system?
Play the Odds:
The old formula for making a repair or replace decision had always been that a repair should never exceed [original system cost / how many years old the system is]. For example, a 10 year old system you paid $4500 for [$4500 / 10 = $450] which would advise not to pay over $450 for a repair. It can be a reasonable estimate, but doesn’t take into account the systems performance over the years. This decision system shouldn’t be used in the first 5 years when the parts warranty still applies. HVAC equipment manufacturers typically have a 5 or 10 year limited warranty on parts. HVAC contractors (installing dealers) will usually give a one year labor warranty on repairs as assurance they did the job right. Further piece of mind can be had from various insurance companies offering labor warranty extensions to cover the full repair cost out to 10 years.
Evaluate your Personal Risk:
If your air conditioner breaks down, it can be a stressful time. Young children, elders, beloved pets are all reasons customers what their AC up and running quickly. When local sourced parts are unavailable (covid has caused a shipping delay nightmare), or warranty parts are a few days wait before they become they are available, it’s a good time to evaluate your risk. When faced with the dilemma of replacing a failed system tomorrow or repair it when the shipped part arrives in 5 days, a very personal decision must be made. You may have a home with multiple systems and can just avoid the hot rooms a few days. You may have the means to quickly relocate for a few nights, staying with friends or at a hotel. As you can see, if you find yourself making the replace or repair decision there are a lot of personal factors to consider.
Consider System performance:
If your system breaks and it previpusly didn’t perform very well or was underwhelming up until that point, you need to have a long and serious discussion with a comfort adviser. Florida summer air conditioner stress is up to five (5) times as great on equipment as most of the United States. With a poorly installed air conditioner that stress can increase that to ten (10) times. If your system and it’s support (location, ductwork, filters, cleanliness) is not on point, your system will suffer undue stress. Relocating systems or upgrading ductwork can be an expensive and timely procedure, but when advised to do so the payoff can be fixing stresses on your ac and lowing electric bills. Cost to own should factor in to your decision. Cooling costs are the major portion of electric bills in Florida, and that portion of your electric bill can be reduced up to 60% by todays high SEER rated systems.