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Repair vs. Replace: The Best Choice for Your Air Conditioner


Modern air conditioners have long lifespans. If properly cared for, an air conditioner can endure for 15 to 20 years, and sometimes longer. The system will probably need a number of repairs during that time, but as long as you make sure that you have professionals handle the work, you can expect to have the system restored to full operation after each repair job.

However, no AC will last forever, and a time will eventually come when you will need to consider replacing an aging system rather than continue to repair it. We have some advice on how to judge if you should repair or replace your system. But make sure you always call on experts for a professional opinion before you make any major decision regarding your home’s cooling system.

When to repair and when to replace

Basic age alone is no longer a good measuring to decide whether an AC should be replaced. A commonly repeated misconception is that air conditioners need to be replaced every 10 years. This isn’t true: many air conditioners can work far longer than this. Just because your air conditioning system has gone past its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan doesn’t mean you should replace it. Is it still keeping the house cool? Are your utility bills remaining level? Does the AC no longer require regular repairs? Then there’s no need to concern yourself with a replacement yet.

If repair needs are infrequent, it is usually best to stick with the occasional repair to keep the system working. But if the frequency of repair jobs rises to twice or more per year and the AC needs more than $500 in fixes to keep it running, then you should start thinking about a replacement. And any single repair that would cost around half of the price of a installing a new system is not worth it. The next time you need repairs, ask the technician for advice on whether it is time to replace the system.

If your utility bills start to rise above what they once were, and repairs to the AC don’t cause this trend to drop, then the system has probably worn down to the point of diminishing returns. If this drop in efficiency is combined with a drop in comfort, you need to call on specialists right away to look over your replacement options.

For air conditioner repair or air conditioning replacement, call on MK Russell & Abbott in Maryville, TN today.