Since the dawn of the digital and electronic age, the question has always been at the forefront of maintenance conversations: Should you repair an older device or replace it with something “new” and “modern”? If the item in question is relatively inexpensive to purchase, it is almost always considerably cheaper to buy a new one than to repair. However expensive units and systems (such as air conditioners) give us reason to pause and think.
Let’s explore the criteria one must use to decide if that old unit is worth the money to fix (perhaps even “fix again”!) or if it is time to buck up and purchase a replacement. For the purpose of this evaluation, we will assume that for whatever reason your current unit is not working, meaning a repair or replacement is required.
- Urgency – Problems like this always seem to arise when we least expect them. And if you’re like many Americans, you do not have the cash on hand for a purchase of this kind! Oh and it’s July… and your family is visiting from Michigan. In this case, urgency might drive you one way or the other, depending on how fast the unit can be either repaired or replaced. Change the circumstances to a slightly more mild time of year and perhaps there is little to no urgency.
- How Old Is Your Unit? – The US Department of Energy states the average unit lifespan is 15-20 years. But here in Florida, units are exposed to some extreme weather and used almost year-round. As a result, 10-12 is more realistic. How close your unit is to that threshold must be taken into account.
- How Well Did It Work Before? – If your unit’s “best” wasn’t so good to begin with, it probably doesn’t make sense to pay the money to get it back to below-par working condition.
- Is Your Unit Modern Or Outdated? – New technology could be saving you time and money when it comes to maintaining your home’s climate. Also many older units use freon as a coolant, which as of January 2020 is being phased out in the United States. If your repair requires freon, it may be time to consider a newer unit with an alternate coolant.
- Is Your Unit Sucking You Dry? – Has repair (not maintenance) of the unit become more prevalent in recent months/years? The money you could be saving in energy efficiency and repairs can offset the cost of the new unit.
- How Much Longer Do You Plan To Live In The House? – I once spent $700 on new tires, only to have someone hit me and total my car a few weeks later. Bummer. Had I known I would only own the car a little while longer, of course I would’ve saved my money. If you are planning to move soon, you won’t be the beneficiary of the money spent on that new unit. If your current unit has generally performed well and requires minimal repair, it may be in your best interest to simply get the unit up and running again.
Don’t try to make this decision alone! You need all the information and input you can get. Let the trained professionals at Air Source Cooling and Heating provide you with the guidance needed to make that important decision regarding the future of your cooling and heating unit!