Is It Time to Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

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Is It Time to Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

We lost another country music legend in recent months. In honor of Kenny Rogers, let’s consider these selected lyrics from his massive hit “The Gambler”.

…That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…

…You’ve got to know when to hold ’em

Know when to fold ’em…

Merts Heating & Air Conditioning believes the same principle applies to more than the poker table. The lyrics can easily be adapted to the air conditioner in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, ”You gotta know when to repair ‘em, know when to replace ‘em.” Just like a poker hand, there are no guarantees, so you have to play the odds.

Repair or replace?

This is never an easy choice because an AC replacement is a major investment. But in every case the day will arrive when it makes more sense to buy a new one rather than throw good money after bad to repair the old one. Professional gamblers will tell you there are often “tells” about whether it’s time to hold or fold. There are also some “tells” when you’re considering an A/C replacement:


A well-maintained air conditioner lasts 15 years on average. But if yours is ten years old or older, you should start thinking twice about whether major repairs are worth the cost. The age of your unit is also a big factor in the next item.

Efficiency rating

Air conditioners are given a SEER rating to measure energy efficiency. The higher the number, the more efficient it is. New units must have a minimum SEER rating of 13 and can have ratings as high as 20 plus. If your current air conditioner is 10 to 15 years old, an AC replacement often makes sense so you can reduce your monthly bills.

Expensive repairs

This is when the decision can get tough. If your air conditioner is close to that 15-year mark, how much money should you spend on repairs? Each situation can be different, but here is a good rule of thumb. Multiply the cost of the repair by the age of the air conditioner in years. If it’s more than $5,000 then an AC replacement likely makes the most sense.

Air conditioner uses R 22 refrigerant

This product has been completely phased out. It can no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. because of environmental concerns. With supply shrinking, the cost of R-22 is rising rapidly. If your old air conditioner or heat pump uses R-22 it’s probably a good time for an AC replacement.

Comfort is king

This is really the ultimate test no matter how old your system is. If you can’t keep your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home comfortable, it’s not okay. The problem could be an incorrectly sized air conditioner or a poor installation. In those cases, an AC replacement is likely the best choice.

We won’t play games

If you’re thinking it’s time for a new air conditioner in your home, call Merts Heating & Air Conditioning. Rest assured, when we sit down at the table with you there will be no game-playing and no bluffing. Just straightforward information so you can make the decision that’s best for you. For more great information like this, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.