When is it time to replace your HVAC instead of repairing it? This can be a difficult question for many homeowners to answer. There are times when an HVAC replacement makes more sense than a repair. For instance, take into account the age of the unit as well as its efficiency. It is also important to consider whether or not the AC has been regularly maintained throughout its life. Here are some signs that it is time to replace your system.
The fan motor in the condenser outside the home is subject to the elements throughout the year. Extreme heat or cold can affect the fan motor and eventually lead to failure. Additionally, exposure to dirt or debris build-up can also cause the fan motor to stop working. This can be a fairly simple repair but may cost anywhere from $300 to $500. Consider the cost along with the age of your unit to decide if a repair is right in your case.
The capacitor is like the battery of the AC unit which enables the fan and compressor to operate properly. The contactor is another electrical component in the form of a switch that is located in the condenser and provides power to the compressor and condenser. Essentially it is like an on/off switch. If no cold air is blowing into the home, it could be a sign of an electrical problem. These are mostly inexpensive repairs and can cost around $200 to $400 to fix.
Units that run low on refrigerant could have a potential leak or another larger issue. Refilling refrigerant is pretty inexpensive and can cost about $50. Some older units use a type of refrigerant (R22) that is being phased out by the year 2020. If this is the case, replacement may be the best option as this refrigerant type will soon no longer be available. The cost of leak repair will vary depending on the leak location. Even a repair isn’t guaranteed to be permanent, so a system replacement may be the best option in some circumstance.
If the compressor fails, the repairs could be extremely costly. Most units less than 6 years of age may be under warranty so repairs under the warranty could range anywhere from $600 to $1500. However, if not under warranty, the repair cost could add up. As a general rule of thumb, the cost to replace the compressor can cost 50% or more of the cost of a total system replacement. This is why specialists usually recommend a system replacement in this instance.
If Repairs are Temporary, Consider Replacement
Often times, especially with older units, repairs are only a band aid to temporarily fix the problem. Having to call for maintenance repairs year after year will add up. If your system still works but is constantly breaking down, it may be time to invest in a new system. New systems start around $5000 and go up from there depending on certain specifications and models. However, higher energy efficiency and fewer repairs will save money in the long run. If you are considering a system upgrade, contact the professionals at KAC Express to find out if a repair or replacement is right for you.