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Replacing vs. Updating Your A/C: When to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Like all technology, air conditioning systems continue to update and become increasingly more efficient, while existing systems tend to need continual servicing as they age. All homeowners try to strike a balance between getting an old air conditioning unit repaired by professionals and getting the whole thing replaced. If you’re in this position, here are some criteria to keep in mind when making the best decision for your home:

Age

Technology is rapidly improving, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. Units that are just eight to ten years old may use up to twice the electricity of a new unit. If the machine is getting close to the decade-old mark, it is probably worth replacing the air conditioner, as the savings in electricity should quickly help make up for the extra expense.

Check the rest of the system

Sometimes problems such as poorly constructed ducts or a poorly insulated house can make the air conditioner work extremely hard without making the house feeling particularly comfortable. If you can get your ducts patched or add insulation throughout the house, you may be able to salvage your air conditioner. If it does not have to work as hard, it may be able to last a few more years, while still keeping your home quite comfortable.

Coverage and cost

In general, if a unit is going to cost 50% or more of its value to repair, it makes more financial sense to just replace it. As the unit ages, it is only going to cost more for maintenance and repair, so it is worth at least getting the savings on the energy bill. However, some homeowners are members of preventative maintenance programs, such as Blanton’s Comfort Club. These programs often include repairs and maintenance for lower costs than normal, which means that you could delay replacing your unit.

Overall reliability

If a unit typically works well, keeping the home comfortable, the bills are not outrageous, and it rarely requires servicing outside the recommended 1-2 annual checkups, then a onetime repair may be worth the investment. Conversely, a unit that requires regular repairs and is becoming a money drain should probably be replaced.
Air conditioners are incredibly important during the hot North Carolina summer. They contribute to the overall comfort and health of the home. Since they do tend to be a considerable investment, homeowners often want to know when they should continue with repairs versus making the choice to just replace it. Keeping these above guidelines in mind should help you make the best choice for your unit and home.

If you have any questions about your air conditioning, including whether to repair it or replace it, don’t hesitate to contact Blanton’s Heating & Air. We are always happy to help you determine the best solution for your individual situation.