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Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner? 5 Considerations

Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner in your Kinston, North Carolina, home is tricky business. When determining whether to repair versus replace your AC system, there are a number of considerations. The last thing you want is to make a bad decision with this type of costly investment. Each situation is unique and will have many factors to consider. Here are five considerations when deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner.


If your AC system is over 10 years old, it may be time for a replacement. Your AC system may still be in good shape if you’ve kept up with preventative maintenance, but components could soon start breaking down. Like an old car, minor repairs now and again are one thing. But you never know when something big may break. Therefore, it’s best to start thinking about investing in a replacement at the 10-year mark.

Repair Costs

This is one of the main factors to consider. Both the age and repair costs need consideration. For example, if your AC system is only five years old, and the repairs cost $800, that’s not too bad since you should be able to get several more years of life out of the system. However, if it’s 10 years old and the repairs will cost $800, you should seriously consider replacing the system instead of repairing it.

It’s good to follow the 50 percent rule. If the cost of repairs is close to 50 percent of the value of your system, it’s probably a good idea to replace it.

Another useful rule is the $5,000 rule. Take the cost of the needed repairs and multiply that by the age of your air conditioner. If it comes to more than $5,000, it’s time to consider replacing it.

R-22 Refrigerant

You may have heard that older AC systems still use R-22 refrigerant, whereas newer models now use R-410a refrigerant. Because R-22 refrigerant is being phased out, the price has gone up tremendously — up to 10 times what it was previously. The cost of the refrigerant should also factor into your decision as to whether you’ll repair or replace your air conditioner.

Repair Frequency

Air conditioners that need frequent repairs could be showing signs that it’s time replace. Is your air conditioner constantly breaking down, loud or not cooling your home sufficiently? Consider replacing it. Additionally, when important components such as the compressor or condenser fail, consider replacing the AC unit.

Bear in mind, your AC system will function best with regular professional preventative maintenance. If your AC unit needs minor repairs now and then, this is totally normal. Check with us if you’re unsure.


Have you noticed your energy bills rising but your electric company hasn’t raised the rates? If so, your AC system could be to blame. Although it’s pricey to replace your air conditioner, a newer unit will save you on energy costs in the long run. Additionally, newer units have high-efficiency features such as dehumidifiers, smart thermostat compatibility and variable speed motors.

Still not convinced? Why not try a couple of add-ons to improve your system’s efficiency? A programmable thermostat will improve temperature control, allowing for more efficient system operation. Or add a dehumidifier to keep your home comfortable and improve your AC system’s cooling efficiency.

Deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner is tough. But after considering the factors we’ve discussed here, you can have more confidence in your decision. If you need any additional assistance in making a decision, don’t hesitate to contact J & J Mechanical, Inc. We’re here to help you select the right air conditioner for your home or help you with any AC services you may need. Call us today at 855-800-1341.

Image provided by iStock

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