As a San Antonio resident, it’s easy to empathize with the brutal heat of our summer months. When your trusty air conditioner unexpectedly stops working right before a major heatwave, it’s enough to make anyone break a sweat!
Most often, you are faced with a tough decision on whether to pay for repairs on your current A/C or replace the old unit entirely. Many homeowners have found themselves weighing spending hundreds on fixing an aging air conditioner versus shelling out thousands on a shiny new system. Trust me- this is not a great position to be in!
The fact is, there’s no “one” answer that applies to everyone’s situation. Several factors should be considered, including the age of your current unit and the nature of the problem. Replacing an AC that conked out last July may have made sense if the repair costs came close to the price of a new model under warranty that would provide reliable cooling.
To help homeowners make the best, most cost-effective choice for their home, here’s a handy guide on whether to repair or replace an air conditioner in hot and humid San Antonio. Let’s dive in.
Which Is Better: A/C Replacement Or Repair?
When deciding whether to repair or replace several factors come into play, including the age and condition of your current A/C, the cost of repairs vs. replacement, and how urgent your need is. Let’s explore those considerations:
Age of the AC Unit
If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, replacement may be the better option. Older units use outdated, inefficient technology. Putting more money into repairs could just be “putting a bandaid on it.” A new, energy-efficient model can save on your electric bills over time.
Severity of the Problem
For minor issues like dirty air filters or low refrigerant levels, repairs make more sense than replacement. But major problems like a leaking evaporator coil or failing compressor indicate your AC is too far gone. At that point, you’re better off investing in a brand-new system.
Cost of Repairs vs. Replacement
Add up repair estimates to see if they exceed 50% or more of a new air conditioner’s cost. If so, replacement is likely the smarter move. You’ll get improved performance and longevity out of a new unit.
When To Repair Your Air Conditioner
Repairs are the way to go when problems are minor or your current A/C unit is less than 5-7 years old. Here are common problems that call for repair:
If your refrigerant level is low, your AC’s cooling ability drops. Recharging the refrigerant can often fix the issue at a reasonable price.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
This indicates low refrigerant and can be repaired by adding more coolant and fixing any leaks.
A debris-filled condenser coil blocks proper airflow. Professional cleaning fixes this quickly.
Capacitors help start the compressor. Replacement costs be cost effective and could help avoid buying a whole new compressor.
Broken Fan Motor/Belt
Replacing the fan motor or belt breathes new life into an aging AC.
When To Replace Your Air Conditioner
When age or major underlying issues make repairs unlikely to provide a long-term fix, replacement is the smart call. Here are some indicators a new air conditioner is needed:
Rust and Corrosion
Extensive rust inside the condenser cabinet or on other parts can mean an AC is too deteriorated to salvage.
Units older than 10 years have likely used up their lifespan. Upgrading to a new model prevents future breakdowns. Not to mention the added benefit of saving on your high Texas energy bill.
No one wants their system breaking down in the middle of summer. Frequent breakdowns and repairs over a short period signal it’s time for a new air conditioner.
Higher Energy Bills
Inefficient operation and soaring energy costs point to a failing unit. Replacement saves on monthly bills.
Major Component Failure
A shot compressor, leaky coil, or busted blower motor exceeds repair costs.
The Bottom Line
As you decide between AC repairs vs. replacement, focus on both short and long-term costs. Minor fixes can briefly extend an air conditioner’s life. But if age or major problems indicate an imminent breakdown, investing in a new unit often makes better sense for your home’s comfort and your wallet. With proper maintenance, a new air conditioner should provide trouble-free cooling for many Texas summers to come!
Your Trusted AC Expert
For personalized advice on your AC repair vs. replacement decision, contact the experts at Elmer’s Home Services today. We’ll inspect your system and deliver honest recommendations so you can make the optimal choice. Beat the Texas heat with an air conditioner that keeps your home cool and comfortable all summer long! Give us a call right now at (210) 306-4472.