Should I Repair My Heat Cool Unit?

The recognized authority in the air conditioning industry is ASHRAE, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.  ASHRAE has established the useful life for residential split system air conditioners at 12 to 14 years.  If your unit is at the end of its useful life, you should replace.

Many residential units have a 5 or 10 year warranty on parts.  If you are not sure, check with the local distributor for your brand unit.  Some warranties will also include repair labor cost.  You will need the model and serial number from the outside unit.

The next factor to consider is the cost of the repair.  A major repair such as an out of warranty compressor replacement, combined with an older unit might justify replacement.

Next consider the efficiency of your existing unit and the efficiency of potential replacement units.  Residential units are rated by the SEER number.  Older units may have a SEER of 6 while the minimum efficiency available today is 13 SEER.  The 13 SEER unit uses half the electricity of the 6 SEER unit.  Units up to 20 SEER are available.

How long do you plan to live in your home?  A new AC system will normally increase the value of your home.

Last consider the general condition of your existing unit.  Are additional repairs likely?

Your air conditioning contractor can furnish a life cycle cost estimate.  This estimate will include the value of the remaining life of the old and new unit plus repair costs, energy costs and future maintenance costs.  This is the total average annual cost to own and operate the unit.

Should I Finance? It’s not unusual for the energy savings to more than cover the cost of finance charges.  Include them in your life cycle cost above.