Skip to Content

Repair the Old AC? Or Replace It? Olive Has Opinions!

ac unit repair

Of course, I always have opinions! But there is one ongoing Big Question of the HVAC world, “should I continue to repair [a piece of HVAC equipment] or have it replaced with a new unit?” When it comes to whether to repair or replace an air conditioning system, I have plenty of opinions. I don’t have an answer, at least not a specific answer for your situation. Every home is different: they have different layouts, different levels of insulation, different numbers of people in them, people with different comfort requirements, different levels of air conditioning use. Some have a dog. Some have more than one dog. Some have cats for reasons I can’t figure out… but I’m getting off track.

The point is, the best way to get a solid answer to the question, “Repair or replace my air conditioner?” is to call experts. We’ll take a look at your AC and see if we can repair it so it gives you a few more years of useful and energy-efficient service. If we think it’s more cost-effective to replace the system, we’ll arrange for that as well.

My Educated Opinions on Repair vs. Replace

I’ve done plenty of research on when the best time to replace an air conditioner is. I have the best resources, which is the team here at Russell and Abbott! Using their knowledge, here are my thoughts on estimating whether your AC is ready to replace or not:

  • General age: If it’s older than 15 years, you should have replacement on your mind. It may not be this year, but it’s getting close. It will depend on the other factors below. The 10–15 year range is also a period to start considering a replacement, although it may not be as urgent.
  • System efficiency: AC efficiency is measured as SEER. If you have a system with a low SEER rating, it costs more to run. Be cautious of a system with under 15 SEER, because you can definitely make a big improvement with a new, higher efficiency AC.
  • How long you plan to stay in your house: Why replace an air conditioner if you plan to leave your house in a year? Or you don’t actually own the house? Good rule of thumb: if you own and plan to live in your home for five years or more and the AC repair cost is about half the cost of a replacement, it makes financial sense to replace the AC.
  • Breakdown frequency: Have you called us a couple times during the year to fix your broken down air conditioner? That’s too much, and you should think about replacing it.
  • Comfort: Is the AC doing its job? If you’re sweating in summer, noticing uneven heating, having humidity problems, or you can’t answer the question because it’s just too expensive to run the AC… yes, give replacement some serious thought!

We’re here to help! If you’re looking for service for your air conditioning in Knoxville, TN or anywhere in our service area, you can trust us to give you honest answers about “repair vs. replace.”

Stay cool,