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Repairing vs. Replacing Your Air Conditioner

In Cleburne, Texas, we’re no strangers to relentless summer heat. You count on your air conditioner to function properly and provide comfort and safety for your family. With proper professional maintenance along with your regular attention, you can expect your air conditioning investment to last a long time. But as life moves on and your air conditioner begins to show signs of age and wear and tear, you may be faced with the question: Should I replace the whole unit or repair broken parts? We hope the following considerations will help you determine if a repair or a replacement is the right choice.

Seek Professional Advice

Invite a service technician to check your system twice a year. Also, do your part to look over your system regularly so a simple problem doesn’t turn into a crisis. A thorough inspection will include all the indoor and outdoor components of your unit. A professional can repair most air conditioning problems, but that doesn’t always add up to the best value. The typical guideline is to repair if the cost is no more than 50 percent of the unit’s value.

Inspect and Repair

All mechanical things that run for long periods require some kind of maintenance. Just like you wouldn’t skip changing the oil in your car’s engine for years, you don’t want to neglect the component parts of your HVAC system.

  • Air filters. They’re inexpensive and easy to find. Changing filters at least every three months has a great impact on the function of your unit. Clogged filters make it difficult for air to pass through the returns. As a result, they weaken the flow and put stress on the unit.
  • Fans. Both the fan motor and the blades are easily replaceable. Fan motors can fail, and outdoor fan blades can become bent or damaged if debris falls in the grate while the fan is running.
  • Coils. The coils that circulate the refrigerant on the outdoor unit can become clogged with dirt and debris. You can carefully remove any branches or clumps and rinse the coils with a low-pressure hose for optimal performance and longevity. If you see dents, holes or other damage, call a professional.
  • Ductwork. If a duct becomes damaged or leaky, you may notice decreased airflow from the vents. A professional can repair the ductwork and reseal any leaks.
  • Vents. Optimal performance comes when your vents are unobstructed and fitted properly in the hole. If equipped with dampers, make sure they’re open to the desired flow.
  • Thermostat. A faulty thermostat stops your unit from running, but replacement is easy. It may be a good time to invest in a smart thermostat that offers fine-tuned control for the most efficient use of your air conditioner.
  • Boards and capacitors. Though not in the purview of the homeowner to inspect or repair themselves, a service technician can diagnose and replace electrical components that control the system.

Consider Unit Replacement

If age or more costly parts are your problem, it may be time to replace. If you’re having problems with these aspects of your AC system, you’re probably due for a replacement:

  • Compressor. If the service technician determines that the compressor has failed, it’s worth considering unit replacement. The compressor is the most vital part for cooling and can be expensive to replace.
  • Refrigerant leak. Even a tiny pinhole in the condenser coils can cause the gas to leak out, and the source of the leak can be difficult and time-consuming to chase down. Refrigerant can be expensive, and it’s environmentally imprudent to allow it to vent into the air.
  • Age. New air conditioners meet the highest energy-efficiency standards and can provide great energy cost savings over their much older counterparts. The federal government provides an energy calculator tool that can help you determine what kind of money a new unit can save you. And sometimes there are tax credit incentives for replacement.

Our team of experts has the skills to make repairs and help get the most life out of your air conditioner. We’re also knowledgeable in the latest technology to help you determine the right solution for a replacement. With a maintenance plan in place, we’ll work with you to keep your air conditioner humming along for your maximum comfort. Contact Airmasters AC, Heat, Plumbing & Electrical today at 817-506-4862.

Image provided by iStock

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