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Deciding When To Replace Or Repair Your AC Unit

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Does your home seem unseasonably warm inside? Are you wondering if a simple AC repair will work or whether you need to replace the unit? Here are some things to help you with your considerations:

Age of the unit: If your AC unit is ten years old or older, it's probably time to replace it with a newer and  more energy efficient model. Although you AC repair could still be an option, this solution will become increasingly expensive as more of your AC's parts start to fail. A newer unit could save you up to 20% off your current cooling costs, meaning that it will start paying for itself almost immediately.

Air conditioner's brand and model: Was your AC unit made by a well-known company or is it an obscure brand? If it's an obscure brand, the maker may no longer be in business. If the company has gone out of business, it can be both difficult and costly for your AC repair technician to locate the necessary parts. Even if it was built by a well-known company, the company may no longer make that particular model or any similar models. Depending on exactly what part or parts are failing, replacing the unit may actually be less expensive than trying to locate a specific part.

Size of the unit: The previous homeowners may have installed a unit that was either too big for your home or too small. Air conditioners are measured in tons, with each ton providing approximately 12,000 BTUs worth of cooling per hour. Depending on your home's insulation and the layout of your home, every 12,000 BTUs, or one ton, can cool approximately 450 to 550 square feet of living space. If your home is 2,000 square feet, this means you'll likely want an AC unit that provides 4-4.5 tons of cooling power.

If your current unit is only 3 tons, no amount of AC repair will cause your unit to be any more efficient at cooling. No matter what maintenance is performed, it may be running almost constantly in order to try to keep up. If your unit is 6 or 7 tons, it will have no problem keeping your home cool, but the excessive cooling power probably means that it's wasting electricity every time it runs. 

If you're still unsure about whether to replace your unit or not, your AC repair technician can help you go over the potential costs of both options. Even if your unit should be replaced, repairing the unit one more time may allow you extra time necessary to set aside more money for its replacement.