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Signs it’s Time to Replace your Air Conditioner & Why You Should Buy in the Spring

Atlanta Heating & Air Solutions Mabelton
Air Conditioning

With spring in full swing and rising temperatures in the near future, now is a good time to test your air conditioner. If the cold air isn’t blowing in just fine, it’s a good time to call your local professional for repair or replacement options.

Why now? Save $$!

The HVAC industry is seasonal with peak demand in the summer and winter. If you know you need to replace your air conditioning unit, you can usually save money by buying in the spring or the fall.

Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Though a professional will let you know for sure if you need to replace your air conditioning unit, here are some tell-tale signs to guide you:

  1. You’ve had your air conditioner for 10 years or longer.

    While a well-maintained unit lasts about 15 years, a unit 10 years or older that is giving you problems may make more sense to replace than to repair.

    HVAC units today are more efficient than they were 10 years ago. Replacing your troublesome unit could save you more money in the long-run with lowered electricity bills. Another important consideration is the refrigerant change. Older units often require R22 refrigerant, which is becoming increasingly more expensive as it is being phased out.

  2. Your air conditioner uses R22 refrigerant (“Freon”).

    The U.S. government is phasing out the R22 refrigerant in effort to prevent depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer. New production and import of most R22 will be phased out by 2020, which means the price of R22 is exponentially rising because it will no longer being produced.

    If you’re having major problems with your older air conditioner, particularly if it involves the need for more R22 refrigerant, it’s probably a good time to replace your unit. Eventually, you will need to replace it with a new unit that uses the much more reasonably priced R410A refrigerant.

  3. Your air conditioner isn’t sized correctly and is inefficient in cooling.

    Air conditioners with lower SEER ratings (maximum efficiency ratings) can be expensive to operate. Newer units have SEER ratings of 13 or higher. If you have an older unit with a SEER rating below 13, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer unit with a higher SEER rating.

  4. You’re facing frequent breakdowns or expensive repairs.

    From a financial perspective, it may make more sense to replace your unit than to do one large repair that will only last for a short period of time or continue to make multiple repairs as a result of frequent breakdown. You’ll want to weigh the costs of repair versus replacement to determine what is right for your family.

    You can do some fancy math like a cash flow analysis to evaluate replace versus repair, but if you’re looking for something quick & easy, here’s a decent rule of thumb:

    Multiply the cost of repair by the age of your older unit in years. Then compare the result to the cost of replacement.

    i.e. (cost of repair) * (age of unit) : is it greater than (>) or less than (<) the cost of a new unit?

    • If the (cost of repair) * (age of unit) > (cost of new unit), replace your unit.

      • Example: ($1000 repair) * (10 year old unit) = $10,000

        • Cost to replace = $9,000

        • $10,000 is more expensive than $9,000 to replace. You should replace your unit.

    • If the (cost of repair) * (age of unit) < (cost of new unit), repair your unit.

      • Example: ($200 repair) * (10 year old unit) = $2,000

        • Cost to replace: $9,000

        • $2,000 is less expensive than $9,000 to replace. As long as the repair will last you a decent amount of time, you should repair.

*Additional tip should you choose to replace your unit: if it makes sense for you, consider replacing your air conditioner and furnace at the same time for potential bundled savings.*

If you’re in the Atlanta metro, we’re here to help. Give us a call next time you’re considering a repair or replacement: (404) 803-7471. We offer free replacement estimates, including second opinions!

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