If you are thinking about replacing your aging air conditioning unit, it is best to consider first the short term and long term costs. A new unit can be costly, but air conditioning repair services in Utah, for instance, can be cheaper in the shorter term.
While it is true, an old unit performs less efficiently (and hence, costly) as time goes by, having a replacement between 5 or 10 years of use may not be wise.
Cost of new unit vs. cost of repair
The national average for an air conditioning repair is $342. At the low end, it can be only $75. If you have an annual repair (and maintenance; at the lowest price, since it is more regular) for the next 5 years for a 5-year old unit, that may only leave you paying for at least $375. A new unit could cost far more.
Newer units now follow a 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) standard as per federal regulations. SEER is the amount of energy required for a specific cooling output. Before 2006, 10 SEER units were the standard.
The 3-point difference means there is 30% less electrical consumption, and, thereby, 30% lower cooling costs. For an average-sized home, a 13 SEER unit costs $3,000 to $4,000. More efficient 16 SEER units cost $5,000 to $6,000.
So, if you buy a 13 SEER unit after 5 years of using your 10 SEER unit, you would definitely have to spend about 10 times more than having an annual repair for 5 years.
Savings on ductwork repair
Even if you have a new unit, sometimes cooling would not be enough as current climatic conditions are crazy these days. A home’s ductwork system leaks between 10-30% of air even before it reaches you. Before having a repair or a replacement of your condensers and blowers, have a duct-leakage test first.
Locating and sealing the gaps would only cost $25 to $35 per vent. Replacing the ductwork with new pipes would cost about $100 per vent. Even with a pipe replacement added to your 5-year repair cost, much less sealing some vents, the price of a new unit is still heftier.
Before buying a new unit, compute for the shorter-term costs first. Maximize the value of your older unit. Make a purchase only when the need arises.