Is It Time to Repair or Replace My Air Conditioning?

Spring is finally here and it seems like summer is right around the corner too. Many homeowners across the area have begun firing up the air conditioning only to find that it needs repairs or isn’t working quite as well as it once did. The question may be, “Is it time to replace my air conditioning system or is repair the best choice?”

In determining repair vs. replacement, there are many considerations. There are no hard and fast rules to making this decision, but here are just a few items to take into consideration before taking any action or making that big decision to purchase a new AC system.

Consider the Age of the System – When it comes to repair vs. replacement, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy’s joint ENERGY STAR program recommend systems older than 10 years old be replaced. The average air conditioner lasts 10 to 15 years so if you are nearing the outer edge of the lifespan, you may want to consider a replacement. However, if the unit is newer you should research the warranty and see what may or may not be covered.

Consider Past Maintenance – Over the past few years the cost of refrigerant has soared due to EPA regulations on the HVAC industry. If refrigerant is leaking or needs to be “topped off” regularly then you may be spending more than you should for each service call and top off. How often the system is repaired, and regularly maintained should all be considerations. Of course every situation is different but the service team at Morris Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning often looks to the 50% rule. By this we mean that if the cost of repair vs. replacement is less than half of its value and you haven’t required monthly service calls to keep your system up and running, repair may be easier on your checkbook.

Of course, you should consider your comfort level – is your AC system keeping you cool and comfortable? If the answer is yes, you are probably still looking at a well-functioning system. If not, replacement may not be the answer, but give us a call to get to the bottom of why you are not getting proper function from your AC system – more often than not, lack of annual maintenance is the culprit.

Consider Money Savings – If your system is more than 10 years old and repair costs are approaching 50% of the value of the system, a great deal of energy can be saved by upgrading to a newer, more efficient system. By replacing your air conditioning system, you can also take advantage of the smart, new features, tax rebates/credits and incentives that are offered on energy efficient systems. The average savings of a new energy efficient system is estimated to be around 20% with ductless models averaging even higher.

There are still other factors to take into account such as how long you plan to live in the home, current energy bills, indoor air quality concerns (especially if you have a family member with asthma), humidity or musty/mold issues. Air conditioning technology has come a long way in the past few years. For a free inspection of your current system, call Morris Heating & Air Conditioning or visit our website at

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