Your heating and air conditioning system is one of the most important systems in your home and is also the most expensive to replace. When the cold Akron winter weather approaches, you want your HVAC system ready to heat your home and keep everyone warm. In the heat of summer, we expect the air conditioner to keep us cool and sweat-free.
The US Department of Energy estimates that the energy cost to operate air conditioners in the United States is a staggering 29 billion dollars per year, so knowing the right time to replace instead of repair your air conditioner is important. A new HVAC unit is up to 50% more efficient than a similar model installed just ten years ago, which means the upgrade would be offset by saving money on your utility bills.
The best time to replace your system varies as each situation is different. One key indicator is that the system does not cool as well as it used to. The compressor and other parts of your system have moving parts, and these can wear out over time. Abnormal noises from the fan unit or outside coil assembly can be another indication that may indicate a significant failure is coming up.
Another way to help decide is by using “The Rule of 5,000”. Simply put, you multiply the age of the AC system by the cost of the required repair. If the total is less than $5,000, a repair makes sense. For example, a $600 repair on a 10-year-old unit would come out to $6,000 using this rule and would be considered too expensive to repair, and a better value would come from replacing the system.
The type of refrigerant your system can influence the decision as well. Most modern home air conditioning units use R-410A refrigerant. This replaced the older ozone-depleting R22, which started to be phased out in 2010 and is no longer produced. Only recycled or reclaimed R22 is available, so fixing a leak in an older system will become increasingly difficult in the future.
Sometimes the best home airconditioning repair in Ohio involves a good cleaning. Dust and allergens collect in your home’s air ducts and should be cleaned periodically. Also, dirt
and debris collect on the AC coils preventing the transfer of heat and reducing the efficiency of your system. To minimize this reduction and increase air conditioner efficiency by as much as 30 percent, have your ac coils cleaned at least once a year.
There are also many situations where a repair makes more sense than replacing your air conditioner. One is if the system is 5 years old or less. A minor repair is reasonable since we expect the system to last between 10 and 15 years. Another example where a repair makes the most sense is if you have had no issues with the unit for a long time. Routine maintenance aside, if you have not repaired the thermostat or replaced the contactor in several years and you determine the AC needs to be recharged, it would be best to repair and not replace it.