When deciding the best time to replace your HVAC equipment, you should consider the equipment’s age and the frequency of repairs. If you’re making an AC repair every year or every other year, it sounds like you may have some other issues going on such as the system was never installed properly from the get go or the AC maintenance is not being performed regularly. We come across both scenarios often.
Our Rockwall HVAC technicians at Lyons Air & Heat find about 60% of homes out there don’t have enough Return Air , which can starve your system and cause parts to work extra hard and prematurely fail. The same goes for a system not receiving proper annual maintenance. In addition, there are also a lot of steps some HVAC installation companies skip just to save time and money, and it ends up being the customer’s headache down the road. So, the best thing is to make sure the system is properly operating first (getting enough air into the system). Then you can know for sure how the system is really performing. Let’s say all of those things are good. Then what do you do?
We like to use the 5,000 rule. Multiply the age of the equipment by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then replace the unit. If less, go ahead and repair it. So if you have a 10-year-old unit and a $600 repair that’s $6,000, we would recommend replacing that unit. We have found that in most cases, this rule of thumb works well.
There are some other ways we can calculate a repair vs. replace analysis as well, but the 5,000 rule is one of the easier methods. We also have a Repair vs. Replace report card we offer customers that takes into consideration other factors and can give customers a clear direction that is in their best interest. Give us a call if you’re unsure about whether you need a repair or replacement and we would be happy to help you through the process.