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Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner is a big decision that affects your home’s comfort and energy bills for the next few summers. But what’s the best way to invest your money—keep your existing system up and running, or replace it with a new one boasting the latest cooling technology? Use this guide to help you understand what signs to watch for, the factors to consider, and the benefits of each option.

The first option is usually to see if air conditioning repair is feasible and cost-effective. It all comes down to the problems your AC is having, its age and maintenance history, and the estimated repair cost.

AC Unit Replacement Services in Knoxville, TN

Signs You Should Repair Your Air Conditioner

  • Minor issues: If your air conditioner is experiencing minor problems like a wobbly fan, dirty coils, or worn-out belt, a repair is likely all you need. These issues are inexpensive to fix and don’t indicate a major underlying problem.
  • Relatively young age: If your AC unit is less than 10 years old and hasn’t had many other issues recently, it’s probably more cost-effective to repair it. Air conditioners typically last 10 to 15 years, so a newer unit should have plenty of life left.
  • Low repair costs: When the repair estimate is well under half the cost of a new unit, repairing is usually the better option.

Factors to Consider

  • Maintenance history: Regular maintenance prolongs the life of your unit. If your AC has been well-maintained over the years, repairs might be all you need until it gets older.
  • Energy efficiency: Look up your current unit’s efficiency rating. If it’s around 12 SEER or higher and your energy bills are reasonable, a repair might be preferable.
  • Frequency of repairs: If you have already paid to fix your air conditioner once or twice in as many years, this could mean your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan. Eventually, you’ll grow tired of the unreliable equipment and decide it’s time to replace it.

Benefits of Air Conditioner Repair

  • Cost-effective: Repairs are usually cheaper than replacements. If the problem is minor, you can save money by repairing the unit and getting a few more summers out of it.
  • Quick fix: Repairs typically take less time than installing a new unit, which means less downtime without air conditioning.
  • Short-term solution: If you’re planning to move soon, repairing your current unit is a practical short-term solution.

Air Conditioner Replacement

Sometimes, air conditioner repair service isn’t enough. The trick is to understand when your AC unit has reached the end of its life and the time has come for air conditioner replacement.

Signs You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner

  • Age: If your 10- to 15-year-old air conditioner is acting up, it’s probably time to consider a replacement. Older units are less efficient and more prone to breakdowns.
  • High repair costs: When a repair estimate comes to more than half the cost of a new unit, replacing becomes more cost-effective. Repeated expensive repairs are a clear sign that replacement is imminent.
  • Inefficiency: If your energy bills are rising and your home isn’t cool enough, your unit may be running inefficiently. Upgrading from a 10 SEER to a 15 SEER unit could save you 33% on your cooling costs.

Factors to Consider

  • Energy efficiency ratings: The minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating in the Southern US, including Tennessee, is 14 SEER. However, you can save significantly on energy bills over the years if you invest in a high-efficiency unit rated 15 SEER or higher.
  • Technological advancements: Modern air conditioners offer features like smart thermostats and variable-speed motors that improve comfort and efficiency.
  • Environmental impact: Newer units use more environmentally friendly refrigerants and are better for the planet.

Benefits of Air Conditioner Replacement

  • Energy savings: Higher efficiency ratings mean lower energy bills, offsetting your investment and paying you back over time.
  • Improved comfort: New air conditioners provide more consistent cooling and can be sized accurately to better handle your home’s cooling needs.
  • Increased home value: A new, energy-efficient air conditioner is a selling point for potential buyers, making it a wise investment even if you plan to move soon.

Contact Grissom Heat & Air to Discuss Whether AC Repair or Replacement is the Right Choice

At Grissom Heat & Air, we draw on over 39 years of experience installing quality products while delivering timely service and attention to detail. Whether you end up needing air conditioner repair or replacement, we stand behind our work with confidence. Our expert technicians are prepared to offer a detailed consultation and estimate comparison to help you make the best choice for your home. Contact us today at (865) 238-4869 to schedule air conditioner service in Knoxville or the surrounding areas.