Air Conditioning Replacement

Regular maintenance for your air conditioning units is vital to the efficiency and safety of the entire HVAC system.

AC Installation

Homeowners and business owners who don’t realize this are often those whose systems unexpectedly break down. And. breakdowns leave them without any air conditioning during some of the most uncomfortable days of year as well as leave them with expensive repair bills. Ideally, your heating and air conditioning system should be inspected at least twice a year. A spring inspection should be performed before your air conditioning is in regular use. And, your furnace or heating unit should be inspected in the fall. 

Eventually, your air conditioning system will have to have repairs. At some point, those repairs will become expensive, prompting the question: When should I replace the air conditioner?

Figuring out when to replace your air conditioner can be a difficult decision. Anything in your HVAC system can be repaired, but at some point it becomes more financially prudent for you to just replace it with a new one. Having a professional HVAC technician confirm that your old AC unit is on its last leg and replacing it would be in your best interest. 

There are several issues you should consider when making the decision to replace your air conditioning system:

  • Age:
    An air conditioning system has a typical lifespan of around 10-15 years. After fifteen years of wear, an air conditioner will start to break-down more often. 
  • Wear:
    Air conditioners lose efficiency over time and might need to be replaced.  Part of this is due to normal wear and tear. But other factors are involved. Increasing temperatures play a part. But as our homes age, insulation becomes less efficient and small cracks allow cool are to escape. Modern air conditioners are designed to save energy by not running as often, meaning that they are often times sized differently than they used to be. So, a larger unit might be a better replacement/
  • Cost:
    Replace an air conditioner unit when the repair cost gets too high. A new air conditioner will cost around $5,000 to $7,000 to replace, based on your location, and the brand or unit chosen.  Replacement costs don’t include ductwork and other adjustments unless it is specifically included in the estimate provided by your HVAC technician.

    • Cost calculator: Multiply the cost of your repair by the age of your old unit (in years).  If the result is LESS than the cost of the new air conditioner that you want, then it is worth investing in a repair.  If you have no idea what a replacement air conditioner will cost, then just use “$5,000. Replace the air conditioner If the result is MORE than the cost of your new unit.
    • Homeownership plan:  Your future should be part of your decision. If you are planning on retiring in the next few years, you might make the investment in your air conditioning system replacement while you are still working. If you are planning on selling your home, you might not want to invest in a new AC unit, but repair it instead.
  • Energy usage:
    If you’ve noticed that your energy bills keep rising, but your Electrical Utility Company hasn’t raised the rates, then it might be time to replace your air conditioner. This is especially true if your unit is not an Energy Star rated unit or it uses R22 refrigerant.

Energy Star

Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. The goal of the program is to help consumers, businesses, and industry save money and protect the environment through the adoption of energy-efficient products and practices. The products have the energy star label, which identifies top-performing, cost-effective products, homes, and buildings.  Energy Star provides this information about the energy consumption of products and devices using standardized methods so consumers can make an informed comparison of products. 

R-22 Refrigerant

Another consideration for replacing an air conditioning system is the type of refrigerant it uses. Many older air conditioners still use R-22 refrigerant which has been phased out of production due to environmental concerns. As your unit, which likely has R22 in it, needs repairs the cost ot limited R22 available for those repairs will increase. Newer models have R-410a refrigerant, which is more cost effective over time.

Figuring out if you should repair or replace your air conditioner can be a stressful decision. Don’t replace an air conditioner just because a contractor said that you have to! Have a dependable, professional HVAC service technician provide a thorough inspection and a variety of options. Many times, repairing your air conditioner is a perfectly viable option.  

An important part of owning a home is having a complete home service contractor with the right skills and experience for the job you need completed.  For nearly a century, Wolfer’s Heating & Air Conditioning has been the contractor of choice for quality-minded customers in the Willamette Valley. We offer complete HVAC and indoor air quality services as well as complete plumbing services, designed specifically for your home or business. Besides the fact that we have earned a reputation for being the best in the business, there are many more reasons to choose Wolfer’s for all your home service needs. Request your appointment with us online, or call 503-220-1901 and work with a company that’s dedicated to ensuring your complete satisfaction.