Couple reviewing energy bills

How to Determine if It’s Time for an AC Repair or Replacement

When your air conditioner in Chicago breaks down, it can be difficult to know if it’s time for an AC repair, or if a replacement would be a better option for the long term. The answer isn’t identical for every homeowner. For instance, a system that has been serviced regularly could be a better candidate for an AC repair because it will generally have a longer existence than another system that hasn’t been maintained. Many other factors should be considered on top of to this. We’ve got some questions that can help direct you.

How old is your system and how often are you repairing it?

The age of your air conditioner is a huge factor in your verdict to call for an AC repair or invest in a replacement. Older systems usually don’t operate as efficiently as they did when they were new—and particularly not as efficiently as a new, energy-efficient model. In reality, you could reduce your energy consumption by more than you may think if you replace your aged system with a new, energy-efficient unit. Usually, this savings will justify investment in a replacement system.

So how old is “too old”? That can change based on your particular equipment and how well it’s been taken care of, but Energy Star proposes upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your existing central air conditioner is more than 10 years old.

Past your unit’s age, examine your AC repair history. If your system has broken down several times, it’s probable to stop working again—this scenario can end up costing you more money in the long run. When you think about potential rebates and improved efficiency, is a new system going to be more lucrative in the end?

Many experts advise following “The $5,000” rule. Multiply the age of your equipment by the cost of the AC repair. If it’s more than $5,000, replace the system. If it’s less, try the repair.

Here are some other questions you should consider:

  • Is your house cool enough in the summer? If not, your system isn’t running well.
  • Are your energy bills spiking without enhanced usage? This is a symptom that your air conditioner is on the fritz.
  • Is your system properly sized? If your system is too small for your home, it can’t run efficiently. Likewise, if you’ve not long ago worked to make your home more energy efficient, your system can in fact be greater than you need to cool a very efficient home.

If you’re not sure if you need an AC repair or if it’s time to think about a replacement, iTemp Heating and Air Conditioning can help! Our experts can help you establish how much life is left in your system and what the best option for your home and budget will be. Call us at 773-704-0640 or schedule an appointment for us to check it out using our online scheduler.