Homeowners always ask, “Do I repair or replace my AC?”
Air conditioning, one of the most comforting inventions in recent history. AC keeps your home comfortable, keeps your food from going bad, and helps us get a better night of sleep. With a climate like ours in Southern California, it is no longer an option, or “perk,” it’s a necessity!!
How Long Does An AC Unit Last?
The life span of an air conditioner is about 10-15 years depending on maintenance and how often you’re using it. Most people like their home to be about 72 degrees at all times of the year. Imagine how hard that system is working to maintain that temperature, and imagine the lack of maintenance that usually exists among these systems. Great example would be if you drove 100,000 miles on a car with little to no oil changes. (This how we at Morris Air Conditioning explain to customers why they may need to change their air conditioning system) even maintained units at an age of 12-15 years start to use a lot of more energy. This is why you see aging AC units break down on the hottest of days. You might be experiencing similar circumstances if you are reading this post.
A lot of technological improvements have been made to air conditioning systems in the last 10 years. They are continuously coming up with new modern and more efficient ways of cooling your home. ENERGY STAR recommends upgrading to a more efficient AC unit if yours is over 10 years old. We now have split zone units allowing for homeowners to run specific zones of their house.
Repair vs Replace
One of most common signs that your AC needs to be repaired is that your unit goes out on a hot day. Needing an AC repair is normal, especially in areas like Inland Empire, Riverside County, and San Diego County. Any location where we are dealing with long periods of extreme heat. Especially if you haven’t had your maintenance done (but we can talk about AC Maintenance in another blog).
Beach cities are looking to install air conditioning units too. Morris Air is getting an influx of inquiries from beach cities (Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Laguna Beach, etc) homeowners requesting new split zone AC systems.
Eventually we get to the point where we need to decide. Do you just repair or service your AC unit? Could it break down again? Most issues can be repaired but its time to start weighing your options. Like replacing the transmission on a used vehicle in your driveway (you know the one you’ve been dying to work on all these years) you could probably get one in better condition for less money. Note: I’m a car guy and have my own version of that going on.
If your AC system is always breaking down and you keep shoveling more money into that system, plus the pain of having to deal without an AC for a day or two – it may make more sense to just replace the AC unit or system all together. Yes, this is a larger upfront cost but remember you are investing in your own comfort and value of your home which will probably save you money in the long run.
Here’s a little tool I share with people:
Repair your unit if: (cost of repair) X (age of old AC unit in years) < (cost of your new AC)
Replace your unit if: (cost of repair) X (age of old AC unit in years) > (cost of your new AC)
One more thing you may want to think about, Retirement. In terms of Air Conditioning, the last thing you want to do is replace that already old and tired AC system when you’re living on a fixed income. A new system will give you piece of mine, comfort and enable you to spend more money on that cruise you’ve been dreaming about for the last couple years! Relax and enjoy your well-earned retirement.
Common Signs that Your AC Unit Needs Replacement
Still not sure? We get it. There are some signs that you’ve been living with poor performing AC and spending too much money on those headache AC repairs.
Outdated system: There are so many new improvements they have made to AC systems. Variable speed, Controllable through your phone, circuit boards controlling how much effort the system needs to produce to gain the same result. These are just some of the things that may get you thinking. Does your ac unit have any of these notable features?
Cost of repair: If you keep spending $500-800 here and there to repair your system, well frankly, it is going to be cheaper to bite the cost upfront and get something that will run smooth like a Cadillac (just not as much fuel). Cost vs benefit guys and gals!
Cost of energy: If your electrical bill is rising every year, it may not be the electrical company hiking up prices, could be an aging AC system. The unit is working twice as hard to maintain a temperature that it used to with half the effort in its younger years. Its like chasing kids around young kids around and as we get older now the knees hurt! We all get old but luckily Morris Air & Electric can get your Air Conditioning back to its youth.
Age: Here’s a rule of thumb. Is it old? House stays at 75 when you want 70? Is it ugly and bulky to look at? Are you calling people to fix it often? REPLACE IT.
Benefits of AC Replacement
Obviously, your home will be more comfortable, the unit gives a nice remodel look to your home, your not paying to have this AC unit fixed every few months. There are also some immediate and delayed benefits to replacing your AC system.
Rebates: Rebates nowadays are second to none. Why? Well in Sunny Southern California, our power grid is really struggling. I’m sure you’ve heard about it on the evening news. They (meaning California and its Energy partners) are forced to give you a heavy incentive to upgrade to newer and much more efficient AC systems. This makes a new AC system more affordable than you would think!
Home Value: If you are looking at two houses, one with original electrical wiring and a completely rewired house. Which would you buy? Same applies with air conditioning. Nobody wants an aging air conditioning system.
Energy Efficiency: The newer Heating and Air Conditioning systems are going to cool or heat your house in half the time for half the price without using too much power.
We at Morris Air & Electric will guide you in making this decision. We will answer any questions you may have and educate you on the various options for your home AC system. We will pinpoint the areas of concern and come up with a way to fix these issues at a fair price. We are excited for you to witness our 30-point diagnostic that literally checks every single part of your AC system and more.