We enjoy our occasional cool days here in the deserts of Southern California. But we’re always aware that hot days are just around the bend. Now it’s spring and the summer months are in sight, the Big Heat is coming soon.
Are you worried that your air conditioner won’t be able to take care of those 90°F+ days when they arrive? Do you have doubts about the air conditioner’s performance? Or has it never worked as well as you think it should?
In other words … is it time to install a new air conditioner in Palm Desert, CA?
Answering the Big “Repair or Replace” Question
To repair or to replace … that is the question, at least in HVAC. It’s a dilemma almost every homeowner will face at some point. Is the better route spending money for repairs to keep a system going for a few more years, or should the money be invested in a new system with a long service life ahead of it?
There’s no definite answer, because each situation is different. In some cases, it only takes a single targeted repair to give an air conditioner 4 to 5 more years of effective service. That’s a worthwhile investment. But if the repairs are going to pile up, one after the other, just to allow the AC to squeak by each summer, then it’s wiser to put in a new system and relax.
Let’s break this down in to a series of smaller questions to help narrow your decision.
- How old is your AC? If it’s put in more than 15 years of service, a replacement is a good idea—even if the air conditioner still seems to be working fine. A 15-year service life is great for a central AC, and you’ve definitely gotten your original investment in it back. Time to move on to an even better air conditioner.
- How long do you plan to live in your home? If you have plans to sell your house in the next year or two, then you may wish to stick with repairs—as long as there no significant danger of the system failing permanently on you.
- How is the AC performing? If you noticed last summer hot spots around the house and a generally less comfortable indoor climate, the air conditioner may be on the decline from age. If the air conditioner has never fully satisfied you, it might be a poor unit or one that was poorly installed. In either case, have a pro look into it.
- How much are you paying for repairs? Anything over $500 a year is too much. Any single repair that costs more than half the price of a replacement is also too much.
- Are utility bills rising? An air conditioner that’s ready to retire will cost much more to run because of all the wear and stress on it. If you’ve noticed a rise in cooling costs over the last summer or two, your AC may be signaling that it’s ready for retirement.
For a professional opinion—as well as the repair or replacement you need—make sure you call on our NATE-certified technicians.
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities with the best in air conditioning.