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A/C Replacement vs. Repair: Which Is Right for My Home?

Replacing an air conditioner is a significant expense for a family. It’s important to have a trusted, experienced HVAC partner who knows whether it’s time to make an A/C replacement vs. repair. The difference can amount to thousands of dollars. 

Inspectors within Pro-Tec’s HVAC Division (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) thoroughly check equipment and mechanical systems before recommending an A/C replacement vs. A/C repair. 

In Southwest Florida, air conditioning is a necessity. Most people don’t think about their A/C system unless there’s a problem. Our quality of life and comfort depend on reliable cooling systems for homes and businesses. 

Below is a guide to recognize whether it’s time to replace or repair your A/C system: 

A/C Replacement 

Top A/C manufacturers like Carrier, Bryant, Lennox, Rheem, Goodman and Trane offer solid warranties. However, two factors often lead to a system needing replacement:  

(1) Age 

Equipment and machinery are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. In Florida, A/C systems run year-round. That means high-quality A/C systems that could last 15 to 20 years in another climate might only last 10 to 15 years in a sub-tropical environment. It’s comparable to a vehicle making two trips daily vs. five trips – the extra travel causes additional wear and tear. 

(2) Maintenance History 

Preventative or proactive maintenance extends the life of any piece of machinery. Changing engine fluids and rotating tires, for example, help keep a vehicle in prime condition. The same holds true for A/C systems. Technicians will clean the condenser fan, change the air filter, clear evaporator lines and other tasks to keep an A/C unit running smoothly. 

Homeowners and property managers can spot these warning signs that often indicate a major problem with the A/C system: 

  • Compressor failure   
  • Skyrocketing energy bills    
  • Visible corrosion or leaks around the condenser   
  • Odd sounds or loud noises from HVAC system   
  • Drastic increase in dust around your home
  • Difficulty achieving a comfortable, consistent temperature
  • Repairs that cost more than 50% of replacement unit cost   

When Pro-Tec inspectors recommend an A/C system replacement, it isn’t “upselling.” A homeowner or business owner truly needs a new A/C system. Much like a car, you cannot run an A/C system until it completely shuts down. A/C units that are not operating at maximum efficiency are wasting energy and inflating monthly utility bills. New A/C systems are energy-efficient and can lower utility costs. 

Property owners often wait until hot summer months before upgrading their A/C units. However, installers often are the busiest during that time period. 

A/C Repair 

Three major components of an A/C system are prone to wearing down over time: the compressor, evaporator and condenser. Replacing those elements is expensive. However, just because an A/C system stops cooling interior spaces doesn’t mean it’s time to purchase an entirely new system. 

When temperatures soar into the mid-90s, even the best A/C systems can struggle to cool homes and businesses that are not well-insulated. Some A/C units are undersized for the square footage they’re trying to cool, and they fight a losing battle to keep room temperatures comfortable and consistent. 

Below are 11 additional reasons why an A/C system might have difficulty cooling a home or business. Repairing these issues often can be a quick, relatively inexpensive fix. 

  • Broken thermostat 
  • Circuit breaker is tripped 
  • Thermostat is set to wrong temperature 
  • Clogged air filter 
  • Blocked condenser 
  • Dirty evaporator coil 
  • Bad or failing capacitor 
  • Broken fan motor 
  • Bad or failing compressor 
  • Low refrigerant levels 
  • Air duct leaks 

 

Pro-Tec Plumbing & Air Offers Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the key to extending the life of an A/C system. In fact, some manufacturers will not honor a warranty without evidence that a system has been regularly serviced. Pro-Tecs twice-annual A/C tune-up service includes: 

  • Confirm proper cooling and temperature split 
  • Clean and/or replace air filters 
  • Flush and clean condensation drain 
  • Clean primary drain pan 
  • Clean outdoor coil 
  • Test all safety sensors and/or switches 
  • Electrical testing of all unit connections and components 
  • Monitor refrigerant pressures 
  • Inspect and clean indoor coil and blower wheel 
  • Adjust thermostat calibration 
  • Lubricate all moving parts 
  • Check for proper air flow and inspect duct system 
  • Clean condensation pump 
  • Replace batteries in all thermostats 

Want to know whether it’s time to replace or repair your A/C system? Schedule an appointment at ptpflorida.com, and one of our experienced HVAC technicians will make a qualified assessment.