Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner? How to Make the Best Choice

repair or replace air conditioner

Should you repair or replace an air conditioner that’s broken or underperforming?

When your air conditioner is down or not working well, you might be dreading a difficult decision: whether to repair or replace your air conditioner. It’s not always an easy call.

On one hand, you probably would rather put off the expense of a new system if your old one could last a few more years. But you don’t want to waste money fixing a system that may be on its last legs and might break down again next month. So what do you do?

Consider these 9 factors to guide you in making the best decision.

Is it better to repair or replace? 9 things to consider

1. Age of equipment

Commercial HVAC systems typically have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. So if your system is more than 15 years old, it may not make much sense to spend a lot of money on repairing equipment that’s well past its prime.

But if your system is newer, it may make more sense to repair. But that depends on the other factors listed here.

2. Condition of equipment

The expected lifespan of commercial air conditioners is a range. That’s because there are many things that can impact how long equipment lasts. Its condition (determined by how well it’s been cared for) is an important one.

Has your system received regular maintenance since you installed it? Has it been cleaned, inspected, tuned up and generally kept in good operating condition? If so, there’s a good chance that it can last a while longer, and it may be worth investing in a repair.

If it’s been years (or longer) since it was maintained, chances are your equipment is not in very good condition. If so, it’s more likely to have ongoing problems. In this case, replacement may be the better choice.

3. Brand quality

Is your air conditioner a reputable brand? If the brand is one you’ve never heard of, it might be what’s known as a “builder’s brand” … a less expensive and lower quality system commonly installed by builders looking to cut corners.

Reputable brands cost a bit more for a reason: they are constructed from quality materials that last longer. If you have a builder’s brand system that’s failing, replacement might be the smart thing to do.

4. What’s broken

What exactly is wrong with your system? You’ll need a diagnosis from an expert here. Don’t assume that if it’s completely down that it requires an expensive repair. The problem could be a failed electrical capacitor or frayed wire that’s a cheap and easy fix.

On the other hand, when a major component fails (like the compressor), the cost may be so high that it’s not worth the investment to repair.

5. Recent performance

Is this the first breakdown? Or has your system had other problems recently? Has it been underperforming for quite a while? That’s going to impact whether you should repair or replace your air conditioner.

If it has been performing well, then there’s every chance that it can last a while longer with a repair. If this is just the latest in a string of ongoing problems, it may be time to cut your losses and invest in a new system.

6. Energy savings

You’ve probably noticed your electricity bill going up as your equipment gets older and loses efficiency. Along with the other factors listed here, don’t overlook how much you can save in energy expenses with a newer, more energy efficient system. A new system can pay more itself in energy savings much faster than you might expect.

In fact, Worthing Air can provide you with an ROI calculation that will tell you exactly how much you stand to save.

7. Space changes

Is the air conditioning equipment the only thing that needs changing? If you also need design changes, it may be time to think about a replacement.

Why might you need design changes?

  • Your space has changed: you have added space, reduced space, or changed the layout of the space.
  • Occupancy has changed: fewer or more people using the space.
  • Usage of the space has changed: maybe the unit was installed when the space was a retail store, and now it’s a restaurant.

8. Financial Incentives

When you install new air conditioning equipment, you can take advantage of financial incentives that can significantly lower the cost, such as:

  • Manufacturer’s rebates
  • Rebates from your utility company
  • Federal and state tax credits for installing more energy efficient equipment

The savings can really add up and make it more feasible for you to invest in a new system.

9. Do you trust the advice of your service provider?

It’s smart to consider possible motives behind a service provider’s recommendations. For example, if you called your equipment installer to diagnose the problem, they might be more inclined to recommend replacement if that’s what they do. On the other hand, a company that primarily does repairs might be more likely to recommend fixing your current system.

If you’re not sure you trust what you’re hearing, give us a call here at Worthing Air. We do it all: repairs, replacements, and preventative maintenance. So we have no reason to steer you one way or the other. We’ll give you an impartial opinion you can trust.

Make the smart repair vs. replace decision: call Worthing Air

We’ll diagnose your problem and help you make the best decision for your business. And then we’ll get your repair or system replacement done quickly and efficiently.

Call us today at 973-575-5276.

Worthing Air is the HVAC service partner more NJ companies rely on. Efficiency, quality, and integrity have been the backbone of our operation for over 40 years. Our technical expertise ensures safe, high-quality, and timely workmanship on every project.