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Air Conditioner Repair vs. Replacement


Any time a problem crops up with your home air conditioning system, you’re stuck worrying over the same decision: Should I repair or replace my AC? It can at first feel like a tough call, but it really boils down to one thing. Which option provides the most benefits?

When to Replace Over Repairing an Air Conditioner

The bottom line is that either service will provide you with a dependable air conditioner in most cases, though there are certainly times when repair is simply not an option. Overall, it’s best to choose AC replacement when repair does not make sense from a financial standpoint, or when repair isn’t getting the job done.

At Midwest Heating & Cooling, our air conditioning contractors recommend replacement when:

  • The cost of your repairs exceeds a certain threshold. In most cases a repair bill that totals a third or more of the entire cost of the system should lead you to replacement instead. This is primarily because a new cooling system will provide you with more benefits and cost efficiency long term via better energy efficiency and a much lower risk of breakdowns in the future.
  • You need AC repair too frequently. Needing to schedule one or two AC repairs during the lifespan of the system is somewhat to be expected. But if you’re calling for air conditioner repair frequently—especially annually—then it is time to replace.
  • Your air conditioner is over 10 years old. When appropriately cared for, most cooling systems will last roughly a decade before they really begin to wear down. Past the 10-year mark, you’ll notice rising energy costs, more frequent repairs, and likely more expensive repairs as well.
  • Your energy costs are too high. Years ago, SEER ratings were far lower and technology was leagues behind where it is now. This means that older systems are substantially more energy-hungry, and a timely AC replacement could save you hundreds throughout a season.
  • Your cooling system still uses R-22 refrigerant. Especially if the problem you are dealing with is a refrigerant leak. R-22 has been proven to be dangerous, both to humans and to the environment—it is currently being phased out, which means the cost of more refrigerant is absolutely skyrocketing as the chemical becomes more and more scarce.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Break Down?

Sheer age is the most common cause of AC failure, though not scheduling AC maintenance is a fairly close second. This is because maintenance provides calibrations, lubrication to reduce wear, inspections, electrical connection testing, cleaning, and more. All of these services serve to keep your system from wearing down, helping to add longevity to components and preventing the vast majority of complications that lead to costly repairs.

The most common reasons why an air conditioner breaks down include:

  • Poor airflow from a lack of maintenance or dirty, clogged air filters
  • Component failure including AC compressors, AC condensers, and blower assemblies
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Worn-out or faulty HVAC thermostats
  • Clogged condensate lines or damaged drain pan

Choose the Right AC Service with Midwest in Milwaukee, WI

At Midwest, we take pride in providing our clients with the correct service every single time. We aren’t here to make a sale, or to push products on you that you do not need.

We’re here to keep you cool and comfortable, and a major part of that is helping you to determine which service suits your needs best. If you’re looking for competent, certified AC contractors in Milwaukee, you’re looking for Midwest.

 Schedule a consultation with us online, or call (414) 704-0129

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