For many homeowners, the state of their air conditioning system is a key factor in their summer lifestyle. They want cool, clean air circulating in their homes during the sweltering heat of June and July, not to mention the dog days of August.
Some of those same homeowners face vital decisions regarding their air conditioning systems, especially if they’re older and starting to fail. At first glance, the decision sounds simple: should you perform AC repair for your air conditioning system, or continue to do AC repair?
There’s a lot that goes into it, though, and at 128 Plumbing we have the expertise to help you make the best possible decision. With that in mind, let’s consider what’s involved in the decision to replace or repair your air conditioning system.
Air Conditioning Replacement: Basic Energy Star Recommendation
To make this decision, let’s start with some basic guidelines. Most experts recommend replacing your air conditioning system if it’s 10-15 years old, and if it’s at or approach 10 years old you should at least start to consider replacing the AC system.
Here’s another rule of them: some HVAC pros use what’s called the “5,000” rule. This boils the decision down to a set of numbers—multiply the age of the system by the repair cost, and if the number you get is over $5K, it’s time to replace. Less, and you should do the repairs.
Replacement Signs For Your Air Conditioning System
For better or worse, you can’t just decide to repair or replace your AC system based on a hunch or some suspicion. Here are some signs that your AC system is ready to be replaced:
- Excessive noise. Think squealing, grinding or grating when you start the unit, and if those noises continue, it may be time for that new AC system.
- Frequent breakdowns. This one’s obvious–you should be tracking your annual repair costs for your AC system, and if they’re climbing, it’s definitely time.
- Humidity increase. If you notice that the cool air in your home is more humid than it used to be, it’s a sign that your air conditioning unit is ready to be replaced.
- An increase in energy bills. If you notice a spike in your electric bill that’s not related to a utility rate increase, have your AC system checked out.
- Thermostat problems. A well-performing AC system should quickly meet the temperature you set via your thermostat. If it doesn’t, it may be a sign of a more serious problem that could dictate the need for a new AC system.
- Refrigerant or water leaks. Check the area around the unit. If it’s consistently moist or you see coolant around the AC unit, it’s time to consider a replacement once you get to the root of the problem.
- Poor airflow in your home. If you have some rooms in your home that aren’t getting to the temp you sent, you need to diagnose the problem to get to the root of it.
- Poor ventilation. If you notice more dust in your home, it may be time for a replacement.
- The air conditioning unit keeps running or won’t turn on
Why You Should Consider Maintenance as Part of Your Decision
- Regular maintenance. If you haven’t done this for a while, it may be worth the small investment. At 128 Plumbing, we have some great HVAC maintenance programs, and a visit will allow us to evaluate the system and make a solid recommendation.
- Will you need R-22? Many older AC systems run on a refrigerant called R-22, which is no longer produced in the US. You can still get it if you go through a professional, but will cost you a lot more than R-410a, the replacement refrigerant. Also, R22 is bad for the environment, so you should definitely factor that into your plans.
What is the Rating of Your Wakefield AC System?
Regardless of how old your AC system is, it will have a SEER rating that can help you determine whether it’s time to replace your AC system.
For AC units that date back to the 1990s, the SEER rating must be at least 10. By comparison, this number was changed to a minimum of 13 in 2006, then to 15 in 2015. Today’s systems typically have a SEER rating over 20.
When you evaluate these numbers, be sure to factor in the savings you’ll be getting with a modern system. You may be surprised at how much you save in Wakefield, and that and a rebate from Mass Save or the Inflation Reduction Act can help you make the choice.
System AC Repairs vs Specific Repairs and Maintenance
When you look at your repair history, make sure to take into account the repairs you need. Are you replacing filters, or smaller components like a blower motor, or are your repairs starting to be for systemic issues?
If it’s the latter, it’s probably time to start pricing a replacement. Those systemic repairs are only going to get more expensive.
How Long Will You Be In Your Wakefield Home?
A new AC system is a major investment, so you should also take into account how long you’re going to be in your home. If you’re planning on selling in the next few years, you may want to ride and die with your current AC system and factor the price of a new system into your sale price.
Budget Factors for Wakefield AC Replacement
Budgets almost always play an important role in the repair vs replace system, so you should see which one of these categories applies to your situation.
- Expansive budget. If you have the money to replace your AC system and it’s older, replacement is almost always a good way to go.
- Some budget issues. This is where you need help from 128 Plumbing. We can help assess your needs according to the money you have available, with both value and comfort in mind.
- Tight budget. Once again, you need our help. We don’t want you to have to make unnecessary compromises, and we’ll make sure to give you some great options.
Make the Right Decision for Your Wakefield Home with 128 Plumbing
If you need help determining whether to repair or replace your AC, we can help. At 128 Plumbing, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners make the right decision, and we have plenty of reviews from happy customers to prove it.
The process starts with a phone call, and the numbers are (888) 419-4233 or (781) 670-3261. We’ll answer your questions, give you the appropriate value numbers, and tell you what you need to do when it comes to repair vs replacement.
To get more information about how this works, you can also go to 128Plumbing.com and start a live chat. We also have some great blogs and articles there to help educate you about the advantages and disadvantages of both decisions, then make the best one for you and your needs as a homeowner.