Is AC replacement Worth the cost?
When your AC system starts struggling to maintain your home's comfort, it might be time to explore air conditioning replacement. Especially if your air conditioner has been in service for close to 10 or 20 years, it could benefit from an upgrade. Modern AC models are designed for enhanced efficiency, potentially lowering your monthly energy expenses.
While AC replacement can provide numerous benefits, it's important to note that access to new systems may be limited due to supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and shipping delays affecting manufacturers. To ensure you secure the replacement, it's advisable to place your order as soon as possible.
Beyond the AC unit itself, various factors influence your home's air circulation, including ducts and insulation. Before committing to an air conditioning replacement, it's wise to have a professional assess your current system. They can help determine whether a repair or replacement is the most suitable solution for your needs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- When to replace your AC unit
- When to repair your AC unit
- Repair or replace? 3 questions to ask before deciding
When to Replace Your AC Unit
Here are a few other indicators to look for:
Increased energy bills: AC systems can lose efficiency over time and older units may use more electricity than they did when they were new. You may notice an increase in your energy bills as your AC unit becomes less efficient. Damage to the unit, such as a leak, could also cause the unit to work overtime to cool your home, which could raise your bill. Either way, expensive bills may be a good reason to purchase a new unit.
Low SEER rating: While a low SEER rating doesn’t always indicate inefficiency, you may want to consider an upgrade if your unit scores lower than the minimum standard rating of 13. A SEER rating measures the energy efficiency of air conditioning units. The minimum rating will increase in 2023, putting older units even further below standard.
Freon use: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency phased out the use of R22, or freon, in air conditioners in 2020. If your AC unit runs on freon, start shopping for a replacement. You may not be able to access freon when your unit needs a repair.
High repair costs: As your air conditioner ages, the unit may need repairs more often. If you feel that you’re putting too much time and money into frequent repairs, you may want to consider investing in a new unit. We’ll discuss the “$5,000 rule” in a later section.
Consult with a licensed HVAC professional to inspect your AC unit and diagnose the issues.
Air Conditioner Replacement Cost: Springfield, MO
When considering an AC unit replacement, it's important to account for various factors that can influence your final price. These factors include:
- Your location
- The complexity of the installation
- The size of your home
- Potential ductwork modifications
- Required electrical upgrades
Each of these elements plays a role in determining the overall cost of the replacement. If you're planning an AC replacement in Springfield, MO, it's a good idea to consult with a professional who can provide a personalized estimate based on your specific needs and circumstances.
HVAC manufacturers and dealers often provide attractive incentives to customers, which can result in substantial savings. For instance, you can explore current promotions and discounts offered by Trane to see how much you might benefit. To gain a deeper understanding of available options, consider scheduling a consultation with an HVAC professional who can provide comprehensive information on potential savings, including federal tax credits and utility rebates.
It's essential to bear in mind that upgrading your AC unit or any component of your HVAC system is an investment that yields long-term benefits. To illustrate the potential savings, here's an estimate of the annual cost savings you could enjoy when you invest in a new air conditioner or furnace, including any applicable federal tax credits and utility rebates.
Product type average yearly energy cost savings
Air conditioner $140* Furnace $372*
*AC results based on PickHVAC’s SEER Savings Calculator for a 3-ton 22 SEER air conditioner versus the industry standard 14 SEER air conditioner in St. Louis, MO. Furnace results based on PickHVAC’s AFUE Savings Calculator for 95% AFUE rated furnace compared to a 60% AFUE rated furnace in a 2,700 square foot home in St. Louis, MO.
Other considerations include:
The $5,000 rule: Multiply the age of your equipment by the estimated repair cost. If the number is more than $5,000, then you should consider replacing your unit. If it’s less, a repair may be the answer. For example:
- A system that is 10 years old and has a repair cost of $300 = $3,000. It’s probably best to repair it.
- A system that is 10 years old and has a repair cost of $600 = $6,000. You should likely consider a replacement.
Existing warranties: Air conditioner warranties from most manufacturers last five to 10 years. Your repair may be covered. If you are the original owner of the unit, check the paperwork you receive upon installation for warranty information. You may also be able to look up your warranty on the manufacturer’s website using the unit’s serial number. New homeowners should check with the HVAC manufacturer to see if a warranty is transferred with the sale of the home.
Financial savings: Regular repairs and maintenance can extend the life of your AC unit. Servicing your AC unit once or twice a year and covering periodic repairs may be more affordable than buying a brand new system. But keep in mind that a new AC unit would likely offer more savings in the long run if you can front the cost.
Repair or Replace? 3 Questions to Ask Before Deciding
When determining whether you need a full air conditioner replacement or a single repair, ask yourself these key questions:
1. How often does your air conditioning unit break down? Annual maintenance is common — and recommended — for AC units. If your equipment needs fixing more frequently, it may be more reasonable to purchase a new unit rather than pay for ongoing, expensive repairs.
2. Do you have a matched system? Air conditioning systems are generally made up of two matching components — an indoor furnace or air handler and an outdoor air conditioner or condensing unit. Replacing either the indoor or the outdoor unit without replacing the other could reduce the system’s overall efficiency and cause additional failure. If you need to replace your entire air conditioner, you’ll likely need to replace the furnace as well to ensure you have a matching set. Keep this in mind if you’re considering an AC replacement.
3. Are you ready to make an investment? A new cooling system comes with considerable upfront costs compared to a repair. However, there are financing options available to make the investment more manageable.
Remember to bring in an HVAC professional to inspect your AC unit and diagnose the issues you’re facing to help you make the right decision for your home.