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South Metro Atlanta’s Choice

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Premier Heating & Air Blog

Repair or Replace? The Big Question With an Air Conditioning System


When the summer heat starts and you notice that your home’s central air conditioning system isn’t working as well as it should, or isn’t delivering any cold air at all, you’ll face a big question: Is it time for an air conditioning repair or an air conditioning replacement in Conyers, GA?

In many cases, the answer will be straightforward. If your air conditioner is only a few years old and still under warranty, you’ll probably only need to have it repaired. When you trust professionals like those on our team, you’ll have the system fixed so it will continue to work for many more years at the same level of efficiency and power.

When you have an old air conditioner, the situation becomes more complicated. Let’s delve deeper into the “repair or replace?” question and see what we can find.

The age of the air conditioning system

A central air conditioner that receives regular annual maintenance can last between 10 to 15 years before it becomes a candidate for replacement. A system that lasts 15 years is common. When an AC moves past that range, even if it still seems to work fine, is ready for a replacement. It will be at a much higher risk of a breakdown and steep loss in efficiency as it gets older. Enough time will have passed that a new AC will have a better energy efficiency than the old system had even when it was installed.

The cost to operate it

Compare how much you’ve paid in cooling costs over the past few summers. Has the cost risen without a corresponding rise in the cost of electricity? This indicates the air conditioner is starting to wear down. If maintenance isn’t changing this trend, it’s unlikely repair will do the job either. It’s time to stop paying more and invest in a new system.

The frequency and cost of repairs

An air conditioning system will need the majority of repairs during its final two years of its service life. When you find repairs are coming more often—and you shouldn’t need more than one a year—it’s time to cut the air conditioner free. Also watch for repair costs: any single repair that’s more than 50% of the price of a new system is too high, and you should not spend more than $500 over a year in repairs to keep the AC going.

Outdated R-22 refrigerant

Check the information on the outside cabinet of the air conditioner to see what type of refrigerant it uses. If it uses R-22, then you need to get a new AC right away. This is a phased-out refrigerant blend that technicians can no longer replace, so refrigerant leaks can’t be repaired. Changing to a current R-410A refrigerant will make future repairs possible.  

Please don’t make a final repair or replace choice on your own. You’ll want the expert opinion of our technicians. We’ll give you honest advice about whether we can repair the unit or if we think you’re better off with a replacement.

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