The national average cost of a new central AC system is around $5,600. Your home’s size, layout, existing ductwork, and exposure to afternoon sun all play a factor in the right system, so it’s hard to know exactly how much it will cost without getting a professional AC replacement estimate.
For some, the cost of a new AC raises anxiety. Paying for repairs may seem logical when money is tight, but you have to be practical. An AC system that gets regular use isn’t going to last more than 10 to 15 years. Here are eight times when it makes sense to spend the money replacing your central air system over having it repaired.
Skyrocketing Utility Bills Are Eating Into Your Budget
As weather patterns change, you might find summer temperatures stretching farther into the fall than they used to. Your AC is being used more to keep the home comfortable, and that’s driving up your electricity bills. If your system is older and uses more electricity, you’ll feel a pinch during heat waves or longer stretches of summery weather.
When your utility bills have increased to a point they’re eating into your budget, it’s time to look at an energy-efficient AC that will help reduce your costs. A SEER 25 AC system can slash your energy bills by half over a SEER 12 system.
Your Home Flooded
A hurricane can lead to tremendous flooding. If your home experienced a flood, you need to replace your system. Damage from floating debris, the contaminated water that saw sewer lines backing up into the flood waters, and waters in the electrical components wreak havoc on AC systems. You need to have your system replaced and not just cleaned.
It’s a System That Uses R-22 Freon
In 2020, the U.S. stopped producing Freon due to the damage it does to the environment. AC units using Freon were phased out in 2010. Your AC system may seem to be in good shape but develops a leak. If it needs R-22 Freon as part of the repair, it’s not possible. You’ll have to upgrade to a new AC that doesn’t require R-22 and instead uses R410A. As most systems using Freon phased out 12 years ago, it’s due time to have it replaced anyway.
The Need for Repairs Is Increasing
You just paid for AC repairs last month, but now something else has broken down or is making an odd noise. You had to go days without a working AC system and now you’re experiencing the discomfort again. You’ve just paid hundreds for a new condenser fan motor, and now you learn the coil is bad and will take a couple of thousand dollars to fix. You don’t have a guarantee that something else won’t go wrong next week.
When you’re spending more time getting your AC system repaired again, it’s time to consider a new AC system installation. All Year Cooling has a 10-year parts and labor warranty option on new AC systems that ensure you have 10 years of trouble-free performance from your AC. If something does go wrong, our same-day repairs ensure you’re not hot and miserable while waiting for a technician to have an appointment.
Your Home Is Not Cooling Down Like It Used To
You’ve set your thermostat to 78, but your home is at 85 and just not getting cooler. Your system seems to be running constantly, which drives your energy bills up. It could be a simple fix like installing a new thermostat. It could be more than that. Your fans may not be pushing around the air effectively. You might have a crack or hole in your ductwork that’s leaking cooled air into the wall space while moving from one room to the next.
Hire an AC specialist to check your system out. Cleaning and maintenance may be enough to get more years from your AC. But, an expert will let you know if your system is on its last legs and in need of replacement soon.
It’s Making New, Unusual Noises
There is nothing worse than sitting in a quiet room or waking up to a noise you’ve never heard before. Your AC system has a squeal, metallic grinding noise, a knocking sound, or a sharp, sudden bang right before it cycles down. Any noise is concerning.
Sometimes, the noises are fixed by having an expert replace a worn part or give the system a deep clean. If the noises indicate you have an expensive part, such as a condenser fan motor or condenser coil, it may be smarter to replace your AC. Some estimates on a condenser coil or compressor replacement are in the $2,500 to $2,700 range, which is nearing half of a new system and installation. You have to weigh the AC repair cost at that point.
If your system is older and you’re facing a costly repair, it makes sense to replace the entire unit. An AC expert is happy to offer expert insight into the pros and cons of a repair vs. full replacement after examining your unit.
Your Central AC Unit Is Leaking Excessively
Is your unit building up a lot of ice and leaking water? If your drain pan is full and spilling out onto your floor, there’s a risk of damp flooring developing mold, which is damaging to your health. If it’s leaking refrigerant, that’s also concerning. You need to have it looked at to determine if a simple repair is needed. If it’s not a simple repair or your system is found to have Freon, it’s time to consider a replacement.
It’s More Than 10 Years Old
You’re lucky if your Florida AC system makes it to 10 years. If it’s reached that age or is even older, it’s time to replace it. You’ll be wasting money on repairs on a system that’s not as energy efficient or friendly as current ENERGY STAR AC systems.
Depending on the central AC system, the savings on your electricity bills end up being substantial. In general, a central AC system that’s 20 years old uses around 6 kilowatts per hour. A new energy star model uses around 1.7 kWh.
If your current AC has a SEER rating of 10, upgrading to a new model that’s SEER 16 reduces your electricity costs by almost 40%. Increase to SEER 22 and save 55%. The higher the SEER score, the more energy efficient your AC system is.
Even if your current AC system has a SEER of 14. You can save 13% by upgrading to SEER 16. Increase to SEER 22 and save 36%.
Don’t Let the Cost of a New AC Keep You From Scheduling an Installation
Federal tax incentives and state utility rebates help you save money on an AC replacement. If you’re worried about the cost of a new AC, talk to a Florida air conditioner expert. All Year Cooling has discounts of up to 15% and new AC units come with a 10-year parts and labor warranty.
All Year Cooling offers free assessments of your current system. If repairs make sense, we’ll tell you. If it’s better to take advantage of current tax incentives, rebates, and end-of-season sales, our technicians will discuss your options and current discounts.
We’ll even help you find financing. If the banks we work with cannot qualify you for an AC installation loan, we also have in-house financing available. Schedule an in-home estimate or installation before our end-of-season discounts end.