When to Know a Repair just won’t cut it.
There’s a saying we’ve all heard about life: nothing lasts forever. Unfortunately, your air conditioner is no exception. Eventually you’ll have to repair or replace your Air Conditioning system. How do you know it’s time to call it quits with your home’s old system? Your AC has only one job: to keep you comfortable. If it can’t handle that, it could be time to find something that can. Here’s how you can tell if it’s worth fixing or not.
#1 - You’re repairing it way too frequently.
Preventative maintenance is one thing, but when you’re spending more time on the phone with your HVAC company than with your mother-in-law, there’s a problem. Even if you don’t like your mother-in-law. Your AC shouldn’t need many repairs, so if you’re calling out the professionals more than twice a year (annual tune-ups and check-ins aside), it’s time to price out new units.
#2 - It uses outdated coolant
15 years ago, the most common HVAC refrigerant was R-22. So, if you have an older unit, it most likely uses that for coolant. But as new, more efficient and ecologically friendly refrigerants come on the scene, the older, less efficient ones get phased out of the market to keep our planet as healthy as possible. For R-22 that began in 2004, when the Montreal Protocol started to take effect. As of January 1, 2010, it became illegal in the US to produce new HVAC systems that used R-22, and even using virgin (un-reclaimed, unused) R-22 was completely prohibited. As of 2020, no new or imported R-22 will be allowed, and it will be completely illegal to produce new R-22 at all. The effect of that for consumers is a BIG price increase in repairing and recharging R-22 systems. So if your system depends on R-22 as a coolant, it’s best to replace it the next time it needs a repair.
#3 - It’s more than 10 years old
Just like everything else in this world, there’s a life expectancy attached to your AC. According to the industry experts at ASHRAE the average life expectancy of air conditioning is 15 years, and that is if the unit is well maintained and doesn’t get overused. If your 10-year-old system is starting to sputter, you have already had one repair, it would appear that it’s reaching the end of its natural life and you should start thinking about putting it out of its misery.
#4 - It breaks the 4k rule
The 4k Rule is our HVAC replacement rule of thumb and is similar to the 10-year suggestion above. It states that if the cost of the repair times the age of the unit (in years) is more than $4,000, you should replace the system. That means even for a relatively new system, the needed repairs could mean it’s more cost-effective to just replace it.
If you’re reading this list and nodding your head, it’s time to call in the pros. Visit Cold Craft online, or call the Cold Craft office at 408.374.7292. We’ll review your old system, tell you if it’s worth being salvaged, and help you pick and install a new one if it isn’t.
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