When an AC unit fails, you may wish to seek a repair rather than a replacement. While this may seem like a cheaper option at the moment, your wallet could take a much bigger hit in the long run. Overall, there are a couple of important factors to consider when deciding on the best course of action. Let’s take a look.
Estimates of an AC’s life expectancy differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, they usually range between 10-20 years. Of course, there are a number of different factors that can have either a positive or a negative influence. AC units that are used daily and sustain more wear will age more quickly. AC units that are seldom used will likely have a lifespan at the upper end of the range.
Cost and Frequency
Repair costs can range anywhere between $20- $3000 depending on how extensive the repairs are. While this may be less expensive than getting a brand new unit, it’s a risk. A defective AC unit may continue to break down, requiring frequent repairs. Having to frequently patch up an AC unit can end up costing more than a new unit. A possible indicator of a failing AC unit is any persistent strange noises while it’s in use. If you are unsure about the condition of your AC unit, it’s best to contact a professional.
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The most common way to measure an AC unit’s efficiency is through the SEER rating. The U.S. Department of Energy determines the minimum SEER requirements depending on the climate of a specific geographical region. Many older AC units have lower ratings than newer models. This means that you likely won’t have to buy the most expensive upgrade in order to notice a significant difference. Nevertheless, the efficiency of your AC is also going to depend on the size of your home, your location, and a number of other factors.
Another important thing to note is that the older the unit is, the less you should rely on its SEER rating. For example, a unit with a SEER rating of 12 that’s 15 years old will operate similarly to a new unit with a SEER rating of 10. Although, regular maintenance can significantly slow down the degradation process and reduce the energy costs by a whopping 40%.
A large number of AC units installed before 2010 use R-22 refrigerant, commonly known as Freon. While it was a standard in the past, it has since been replaced by a more eco-friendly option, R410A (Puron). Repairing a leak and filling up with R-22 costs a fortune ever since the U.S. prohibited the production of AC units that rely on Freon. It’s becoming rarer with each passing year due to the restrictions. If you have an old system that runs on it, you should definitely consider a newer model.
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If you’re unsure whether you need an AC unit repair or replacement, schedule an appointment with Shepherd’s today. We will provide the information and service that you need. Request an appointment through our contact form or give us a call at (650) 861-4995. We’re here for all of your AC needs.