You don't want to spend more than you have to on cooling, but a time will come when you'll need to choose between repairing your air conditioner and replacing it altogether. The following are a few factors to take into account.
Consider the Unit's Age
A central AC lasts about 12 to 15 years, though an exceptionally well-maintained one could reach 20 years. As for ductless units, their life span can easily reach 20 years. The older your system gets, the less efficient it will become, and the more repairs it will demand.
Additionally, newer units come with higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings, so there's no reason to hold on to a group that, even at its best, pales in comparison to these others.
Consider the Cost of Repairs
While minor repairs are no doubt necessary, others may cause you to think twice, especially with an old unit. This is where the 5,000 rule, so often recommended by HVAC companies, comes into play. Take your system's age and multiply it by the cost of whatever repair it is you need. If the number is below 5,000, a repair would be wise.
Efficiency Is Another Factor
Problems with efficiency are usually very noticeable. For example, you might feel warm spots in certain rooms after the AC unit has shut off. Another tell-tale sign of inefficiency is short-cycling: a rapid shutting on and off the system. You might see an unusual spike in your utility bills at the same time.
Does Your System Use R-22 Refrigerant?
Older systems use a refrigerant called R-22, which the EPA banned the production of at the start of 2020. You could save money, then, by upgrading to a new system that uses the approved R-410A refrigerant.
Mitch Wright Plumbing, Heating & Air is ready to inspect your unit and provide an honest recommendation for repairs or replacement. If you need HVAC help, call Mitch Wright Plumbing, Heating, and Air at (662) 269-0851 or fill out an online contact form to set up an appointment!