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How to Determine if Its Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

May 12, 2017

When your air conditioner in Portland fails, it can be hard to know if it’s an occasion for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a smarter option for the long run. The answer isn’t similar for every homeowner. For instance, a system that has been well maintained could be a better candidate for an AC repair because it will almost certainly have a longer lifespan than another system that hasn’t been serviced. Many other aspects should be considered in addition to this. We’ve got some questions that can help lead you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a big factor in your verdict to order an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Aged systems usually don’t operate as well as they did when they were new—and particularly not as effectively as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could reduce your energy consumption by more than you thought possible if you replace your outdated system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Usually, this savings will support investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can vary based on your specific equipment and how well it’s been cared for, but Energy Star advises upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your existing central air conditioner is greater than 10 years old.

Past your unit’s age, check out your AC repair history. If your system has broken down a few times, it’s probable to break down again—this situation can end up costing you more money in the long term. When you take into account possible rebates and enhanced efficiency, is a new system going to be more economical in the future?

Many professionals advise following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your equipment by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, change the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cozy enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t keeping up.
  • Are your energy bills going up without increased usage? This is a sign that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your system is too small for your home, it can’t function properly. Also, if you’ve not long ago did something to make your home more energy efficient, your system can essentially be greater than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re unclear about if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to consider a replacement, Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can help! Our experts can help you establish how much life lingers in your system and what the ideal option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 503-213-4433 to setup an appointment for us to visit you.