When is it Time to Replace Your AC System?
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In most cases the situation is not clear-cut when you need an AC replacement, the question becomes, “Should I continue to spend money on AC expenses?” The average AC System life is 10 to 15 years in the Hillsborough County area. When major repairs are needed and these costs approach the price of a new air conditioner, it’s time to consider an AC replacement. The answer is more straightforward when critical, expensive AC part(s) fail and you have no cold air flow — you are faced with either paying a sizeable expensive repair or getting an AC replacement.
Please note, your AC System end-life is determined by the total hours it’s in operation, regular AC maintenance, and the AC brand quality. From an economic point-of-view, it’s not cost-effective to continue to spend repair dollars on old technology and use more electricity to keep it running. The cost-of-ownership of your AC System over the next few years can justify a new AC replacement.
For example, up to 60% of the monthly household electricity bill may be due to an old AC clunker with a poor energy rating. Typically the extra electricity may be as high as $100 per month or $3,600 over three years or even more. The next major repair for $2,500 or more (i.e., an AC compressor) plus the $3,600 for electricity is a total of $6,100. Hence, a new AC system for $6,100 is justifiable with a payback in 3 years.
For a 15-year-old system, the cost of replacing a failed AC compressor and a leaking evaporator coil unit at the same time can usually justify the purchase of a new energy efficient system. As the AC System ages, there is a higher likelihood that costly major components will fail. Hence, AC Sytems or Heat Pumps over 15 years old are prime candidates for replacement.
Old AC systems use the R22 refrigerant also known as Freon. Freon is being completely phased out on December 31, 2019, and the price goes up every week. R410a is approved for use in all currently manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps. Unlike R22, R410a will not deplete the ozone layer.
If your AC system has refrigerant leaks, it can be expensive to keep your system running to produce cold air. AC leaks can be costly to detect, fix and to replace the loss refrigerant. A single AC leak repairs can range from $145 to $1,000’s, depending on the leak location, the amount of Freon lost and size & type of leak. There comes the point where frequent air conditioner repair of refrigerant leaks and the cost of other repairs are not worth it to keep pouring money into the old AC System.
As a 15-year-old AC System or Heat Pump ages, it gets more difficult to find and buy parts to fix it. Eventually, the AC System will fail, and parts will not be available. At that point, you have no choice – the best solution going forward is an AC replacement. Hopefully, this failure occurs in the fall or winter months and the best time to buy a new AC system.
The winter and fall months are the Best Time to Purchase a new AC System or Heat Pump because this is the timeframe that AC manufacturers provide incentives & rebates. It’s also a slow period for AC Companies that are willing to discount on labor prices for AC Replacements and new AC Installations. A Frosty’s AC, we recommend your AC Replacement during these months of minimal usage to get the best deal and eliminate any breakdown during the summer months.
For a business, it’s a lot easier to justify the purchase of a new AC system because it’s a capital asset that can be depreciated and deducted from Federal Income Tax. Also, you may want to replace the old AC System before it disrupts your business. In any case, Frosty’s can assist in deciding to keep the old system or buy a new system.
Just call us (813) 621-5900 for a free consultation to discuss your AC system situation. As always, Frosty’s offers Financing Options to cover the total cost of your new AC system with installation. To learn more click, Frosty’s Financing Options.
Factors to consider for AC replacement, when your existing AC system has:
- More than 15 years of operation
- Frequently breaks-downs
- Major component(s) failure that need repair – i.e., AC compressor or evaporator coil
- AC parts that are unavailable
- Refrigerant Leaks
- R-22 (Freon) refrigerant that will be withdrawn from marketing in January 2020
- Poor performance or not working properly for years
- High electricity cost to run
- Rebates and tax credits are available