To Repair or Replace: Is It Time to Give Up on Your AC Unit?

If your air conditioning didn't seem to keep things cool this year, you may be contemplating whether you should call for yet another service technician or just straight out replace the AC. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you determine if you should replace or repair your existing central air unit.


The age of the unit should be one of the key determining factors. Old units are not as efficient as new ones, and those that are older than 10 years likely use Freon to cool the air. If your air conditioning uses Freon, now is the time to get rid of it. Freon is being phased out, so if the unit needs to be recharged right now, it's going to cost you a little more than it did before. If it needs to be recharged a year from now, good luck—it's going to be a costly repair. The official date for the phase-out is January 2020, which is coming up.


If you have a newer unit that always seems to be breaking down, it is probably in your best interest to go ahead and replace it now. You don't want to continue getting nickeled and dimed by the unit that isn't cooling your home as well as it should anyway. If you think about how much you've spent over the past couple of seasons on repairs, you might find that you could have paid off a good chunk of a new unit.


If your air conditioning unit is too small for your home, it will not keep it cool. An undersized unit will work twice as hard as a unit that is meant to cool a home the size of yours, so you will end up paying more in utilities and could face even more visits from the repair technician. This is because the harder the system has to work, the more wear and tear it will experience, which means more failing parts and more service calls.

If you don't know what the best course of action to take would be, take the time to talk with your local AC repair technician. He or she will be able to assist you in weighing the pros and cons of repairing the old system or investing in a new one. Hopefully, the decisions that you make now will help you keep your home cool over the next 10 or more years.