Every air conditioner will hit its last day when it can’t serve you anymore. You might call in an air conditioner expert to fix the ongoing issue, and the professional might shock you with a big-budget repair for the AC unit. This might force you to pick up the most relevant decision: Whether you should repair or replace the entire air conditioning unit.
This might lead you to a confusing situation. However, a few factors can assist you to reach a conclusion. Let’s take a deep dig at the general lifespan of air conditioners, repair costs, and others to make sure what you need.
Age of Your Air Conditioner
In Dubai and its outskirts, an air conditioner can last up to 12 to 15 years, give or take a few years. The lifespan of the AC unit depends on how regularly you arrange maintenance services for the cooling or HVAC system. Additionally, high humidity levels, sulfur, and other pollutants might cut down the overall longevity by up to 10 years.
The prime rule of discarding or replacing an existing air conditioner is to take a look at its age. If your air conditioner is older than 10 to 12 years then you might consider replacement over repair. However, the repair complication should be high in this case. Otherwise, you can continue with the repair if your AC is well-maintained.
Repair Cost: How Expensive is it?
The next deciding factor is the concerned AC repair cost. AC components that require major repair or replacement are:
- The evaporator coil
- Your air conditioner’s compressor
- The outdoor coil
Apart from these, electrical systems such as contactors, capacitors, and fan motors comprise a major component of the air conditioner. Repair necessities such as a blown capacitor or unclogging the drainage pipe are minor, whereas you can consider evaporator coil replacement or compressor repair as a major and complicated repair need. Not to mention, they will cost you a fortune.
If your AC unit is more than 10 years old and requires a repair worth half of a new AC investment or more, the replacement is a wiser decision. Replacing the current AC with a new unit will save you from unnecessary cost and uncertainty.
The Efficiency of the Existing Air Conditioner
Are you confident about your air conditioner’s current efficiency? The efficiency lies in the energy consumption rate of your air conditioner. The less energy your unit consumes, the higher efficiency your air conditioner acquires. Look out for signs that can tell about your AC efficiency.
For example, you can check out your electricity bills to be sure that your air conditioner doesn’t cause a hike in energy costs. If you find your energy costs higher, then your air conditioner might have lost its optimum efficiency. A lack of a regular maintenance regime can also lessen your air conditioner’s efficiency.
You can opt for a replacement if your aged unit has degraded in terms of efficiency. After all, modern air conditioners come with high-efficiency dehumidifiers, speed motors, programmable thermostats, and more. They are a perfect add-on for a cool, comfortable, and stress-free indoor environment.
How Have You Maintained the Air Conditioner So Far?
Believe it or not, maintenance services mean a lot for your air conditioner to last longer and with the desired efficiency. It’s evident that you can skip major repairs if you opt for time-to-time maintenance and tune-up services.
What are common preventive maintenance services that your air conditioner might require? Take a look at suggested AC maintenance for better reliability, life expectancy, and energy efficiency:
- Replacing air filters every 2 to 3 months for the HVAC system; cleaning them if replacement is not mandatory
- Trimming shrubs and twigs near your air conditioner’s outdoor unit
- Looking out for refrigerant leakage, water dripping, or frozen refrigerant line
- Seeking expert invention for regular maintenance or repair needs
Ignoring your air conditioner’s maintenance needs might result in bigger trouble, and you might encounter a hefty repair cost. If you couldn’t keep your air conditioner well-maintained and it’s been years, then a replacement might be a better solution than repair.
Type of the AC Refrigerant
Currently, the popular R-22, HCFC-22, or Freon-based refrigerant is banned as an AC refrigerant. This has happened because those gases were more toxic to nature, and they caused more damage to the ozone layer. The use of R-22 as a refrigerant has become rarer.
Rather, air conditioners with R410A as a refrigerant are occupying the market. This refrigerant is less impactful to the environment. Additionally, it’s a bit difficult to find the refrigerant R-22 if your air conditioner faces a refrigerant leak. If your old air conditioner has R-22 in it and it requires heavy repair, you should consider a replacement. Otherwise, you can stick to the current air conditioner and have the necessary repairs done.
Future Planning with Your Current Residence
How long are you going to stay in your existing home? If you are about to stay a year or two, then you have to rethink whether you require an AC replacement or not. An AC replacement sounds nice if you are going to stay in the same house for the next 8 to 10 years, along with the following:
- The new AC will save on energy bills
- You need not worry about repair costs soon
- New systems offer a long-term warranty
However, if you are thinking about leaving the place any time soon, then a repair would justify your efforts. Additionally, an AC replacement is beneficial if you want to get a higher selling price for your property because home buyers might ask you for a lower price if the air conditioner isn’t that efficient.
Home Comfort Levels
Another relevant query regarding AC repair or replacement is whether your existing air conditioner can cool your home. It’s evident that your AC can’t function due to the issue, but was it capable of cooling your home thoroughly before the accident? Your system might not provide the high performance that you expect from it.
You might notice your air conditioner suffering a lot from the demanded cooling for your home. The overall cooling and dehumidification might not seem even and justified with a struggling and old AC. Most importantly, you should have a look at your electricity bill. If they are getting constantly higher, then the air conditioner might require a replacement.
However, if your AC is quite new and you have to deal with uneven cooling, then the size might not be appropriate. If your aircon unit is smaller or bigger than needed, you can witness similar issues. Therefore, contact a professional to learn the actual status of your air conditioning unit. If it has aged enough along with showing the above-mentioned tantrums, it’s worth replacing it.
So, What Did You Choose: Repair or Replace?
Before you decide on the ultimate, you should check out new technologies in the market. Don’t forget to check how they are going to benefit your home and lifestyle. Double-check the repair cost, repair history, AC’s age, and efficiency to be more confident about repairing or replacing the unit. You can also consult with an AC expert to learn more about the repair and replacement of AC.