AC Repair vs. AC Replacement – How Do You Know When It’s Time?
Air conditioners have been around for decades. The first AC was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier, and he used it for monitoring humidity inside a publishing house in New York. Before Carrier’s invention, people relaxed and cooled off using large ice blocks, which is probably why the output settings of the first AC systems used Ice Power for calculating. The process involved determining how many ice blocks were needed to generate the right cooling power.
In 1914, the first residential air conditioner was installed. It was big – more than 7 feet in height, 6 feet wide, and 20 feet in length. It was worth $10,000 to $50,000 at that time, but people were clamoring for one despite the price and size. Years later, in 1931, the room air conditioners were invented by J.Q. Sherman and H.H. Schultz.
Over the years, the air conditioner continually developed and improved until it became what it is today. Through all these changes, one thing has remained the same: the fact that it needs to be properly maintained. Its lifespan will last longer – from 10 to 15, to a maximum of 20 years, if maintenance is regular.
AC systems are now an essential part of households, offices, and buildings. Some structures even have centralized HVAC systems. Aside from providing cool/cold air, air conditioners also help make your environment safer and more comfortable. They drive away allergens and other similar particles from your indoor air.
However, no matter how modern or advanced your AC system is, it won’t provide the quality air that you need for long if it is not correctly taken care of. As mentioned above, regular maintenance will increase an AC’s lifespan.
What is AC Maintenance?
Air conditioning systems have parts like coils and filters that need regular maintenance to work well for many years. Without maintenance, air conditioners will lose their effectiveness and efficiency. In some instances, they can stop functioning completely after several years. Adding more burden to the situation is the increase in energy consumption.
A regular maintenance procedure typically begins with a comprehensive AC evaluation. Every aspect and all parts of the air conditioner is checked to determine their condition. The most important parts are prioritized, such as the filter, coils, and drain channels.
Regular maintenance is also essential in determining whether an air conditioning system should be repaired or replaced.
To Repair or Replace?
There are factors to consider when trying to decide whether an AC needs to be repaired or replaced. Some of these are uncovered during the maintenance process, but others require specific care and attention. Foremost among these factors is the age of the air conditioner.
For AC systems that have been in use for less than ten years, a repair is the ideal option. If the air conditioner has been functioning for ten years or more, it has to be replaced.
Another factor to consider is the kind of issues that are discovered during the maintenance check. Electrical problems and clogged condenser units are minor issues that an AC specialist can fix. If the issues are more complex, such as compressor and condenser coil damages, the only option is to replace the air conditioner.
AC replacement is also the best choice if the unit breaks down now and then and has to be repaired frequently.
There are other crucial factors to understand before deciding whether to repair or replace an air conditioning unit. Here is an infographic that illustrates all the details you need to know before deciding that it’s time to have your unit repaired or replaced.
About the author
Rachel Watson is the Senior Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Rachel enjoys yoga and writing articles about how to make home living more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.