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[HVAC] Should You Replace or Repair?

If you’ve started to notice that your home isn’t quite as cold (or hot) as you want it to be, your HVAC system might be on the fritz. Maybe over the last few years you’ve had it fixed a handful of times and you’re just not sure if you want to shell out any more money to fix it again. Do you pay to have your system repaired, or is it time to buy a new unit?

Well, that depends:

The age of your system should play a big part in your decision to replace or repair. If your current, broken system is more than six years old you will benefit from a technological update. Older systems won’t function the same after years of use, and some homeowners can expect hefty savings after purchasing a new system.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, air conditioners have a life span of about 15 years, so if your system is older than that, it’s time to replace. Professionals also say to replace a system when the cost of repair multiplied by the age of the unit exceeds the cost of a new system.

So if your 10-year-old system’s repair cost is around $700, it’s time to replace with a new system for up to $7,000

Still, the age of a system before the 10 or 15-year mark is no reason to replace it altogether. Often, old systems may be working just fine but need a minor fix. If this is your air conditioner’s first repair, it probably isn’t time to purchase something new. Replacement, in these cases, would be much costlier than repair.

A special case:

Most old A/C units run on the now-outdated R-22 Refrigerant, Freon. R-22 is slowly being phased out by a newer refrigerant called R-410a which is said to be more environmentally friendly. Because new units run on R-410a, R-22 is harder to come by and much more expensive. If your old air conditioner is leaking R-22, it’s better to replace the system than continue topping it off.

This is where preference comes in:

Though not necessary, many homeowners upgrade old systems to make their homes more energy efficient. If you have an older system that runs well but are planning to stay in your current home for many years, investing in a new air conditioning or Geothermal system could be beneficial.

Upgrading to a new Geothermal system can drive your energy bill down, as it is one of the most efficient systems on the market. Geothermal systems work through underground components that share heat with earth. The system leeches heat from underground in the winter and moves heat away from your home in the summer.

Check Out Our Selection of Geothermal Systems

Your preference may be based almost entirely on your climate and typical energy usage. If your current system only runs a few times a year, an upgrade may not be important or even ideal for your home. Still, if you live in a climate that requires you run your HVAC system for months at a time, an upgrade could be worth it.

Your decision:

When it comes down to it, your HVAC system can continue to be repaired for as long as you’d like. But, when you’re trying to choose between repairing and replacing, you only need to consider a few things.

  • The age of your system & number of repairs
  • The price of the repair
  • The type of refrigerant your unit takes
  • Your climate and energy usage
  • Your preference

After you’ve taken these things into account, you can get a second opinion from a godirectappliance.com sales representative or your local HVAC professional and move forward with the best course of action for you.

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