What to Do When Faced With Expensive Air Conditioner MaintenanceJack Dawson
There is never a good time for repairing air conditioners. We are so accustomed to the units humming along smoothly that we tend to be shocked if they break down and there is a need to undertake very costly repairs. The amount sometimes seems so exorbitant that you are inclined to stop and think whether to get the repair done or to actually get the unit replaced with a new one that will be more efficient. The situation is very similar to that of repairing an old motor car or contemplating the merits of getting a replacement. Whether you should get your AC unit repaired or purchase a new one really depends on what opinion is expressed by an air conditioning company that you can trust to honestly assess the condition of the existing unit, diagnose the extent of repairs needed, and suggest whether it is viable to repair it or get it replaced.
An Honest Evaluation Can Lead to a Happy Smile
It is vital for you get your AC unit inspected by a maintenance agency of repute for the simple reason that there any many unscrupulous contractors in the market who provide exorbitant repair estimates to fix simple issues like the filter getting clogged with dust or plants and grass obstructing air flow in the external unit. If you suspect that you are being taken for a ride by smooth talking salesmen in the guise of technicians, make it a point to get a second opinion from a reputed HVAC service firm that could surprise you with simple solutions or alternatives to costly repairs.
Desist from Desperate Acts
There are so many customers who claim to have tried everything to solve the issue of inadequate cooling but have been unsuccessful. The most common issues of air conditioners that do not cool sufficiently are usually due to the lack of proper insulation or due to ducts that leak out the cooled air before it can reach its destination. A competent AC maintenance contractor will be able to identify these types of issues and set them right at a tiny fraction of what it costs to get the unit replaced. Read about common problems that AC units develop on the AC Man website.
An expert HVAC technician will conduct a thorough inspection of the system to understand the various aspects of the problem and what they entail in terms of rectification. It would be too much to hope for that every expert evaluation would yield very simple and inexpensive solutions but if indeed your AC unit has developed a serious fault, he will inform you of the various factors and considerations that need to be taken into account to make an informed and sensible decision.
Important Factors That Need Careful Consideration
The age of your AC: Modern AC units typically can operate well between 15-20 years; however, it is not unusual to see many units requiring frequent maintenance after 10 years, particularly if they have not been serviced periodically earlier.
Efficiency rating: Current central air conditioning standards specify that units need to achieve a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating of 13 or higher. If your unit is around ten years old, its SEER rating could be quite low so you could achieve around 20% saving in power consumption by replacing your system with a modern energy-efficient one.
Cost of repairs: If your AC has been requiring a lot of repairs, it may be worth examining getting a new unit because apart from the annual check-up, a new unit will not require costly maintenance for quite a few years.
Whether repairing your existing air conditioner makes more sense than purchasing a new one or vice versa depends on a number of factors that are unique to your situation. The final decision is best taken after a careful evaluation of the pros and cons associated with repair or replacement. A complete and detailed assessment of the existing AC system by a professional and reliable AC maintenance agency is essential.