How to Determine If Your Air Conditioning Unit Needs to Be Replaced

If your air conditioning system isn’t quite making the cut in keeping your home cool in the summer heat, the next step is to decide whether you need to replace or repair your air conditioning unit. Here are some factors to consider to help you determine whether it’s more cost effective for you to replace the system entirely or simply undergo repairs.

Frequency of Repairs

If it seems like your air conditioning system needs to be repaired every few months, this is a red flag. It doesn’t make sense to continue to pour money into repairs several times a year, and especially if a specific part keeps breaking despite multiple repairs. If you’re tired of spending money on repairing a tired A/C unit, consider upgrading to a replacement.

Age of Unit

Just like mattresses, A/C units need to be replaced at regular intervals. Air conditioning units have a rather long lifespan of approximately 10 years. However, even units that are less than 10 years old might be less energy efficient than newer models. If your cooling system is eight to 10 years old and it’s no longer doing its job, a replacement might be the most practical option.

House Insulation

If your air conditioning system is fairly new but your home still doesn’t feel as cool as you’d like, this is an indication of a poorly insulated house. Once it’s confirmed by air conditioning technicians that your A/C unit is working properly, consider adding more insulation to the home and sealing cracks in the floorboards and walls.

Energy Efficiency

If you’re sick of the sky-high utility bills that seem to keep rolling in, you might benefit from a replacement air conditioning system. Older units are often unable to cool your home efficiently, and have to work overtime to do the job. Newer cooling systems are able to easily cool your home while also lowering your utility bill. For many homeowners, energy efficiency is the deciding factor. Lower utility bills and a decreased environmental impact is a win-win situation, and especially appealing if your A/C is older than the recommended replacement age of 10 years.

Choose The Right Professionals

Whether you’re deciding to repair or replace, it’s important to choose a highly qualified professional for the job. If you’re replacing the system, your air conditioning professional should be able to choose the appropriate size of the unit to suit your needs. Some companies tend to overestimate the size of the A/C unit, and this is more expensive in the long run. If the company you’re considering uses the outdated method of estimating one ton for each 400 square feet of space, move on to the next option, as that estimate will likely end up being too big for what you need. Instead, opt for a company that provides a printed out load calculation sheet.


If you’re not happy with your air conditioning unit’s performance, the next step is to decide if simple repairs or a replacement will best suit your needs. There are several factors to consider before making your decision, including the frequency of repairs in the past, the age of the cooling system, your home’s insulation, and the energy efficiency of your current unit. Once you have made your decision, make sure to ask questions and thoroughly research your air conditioning technician options to ensure that you get accurate and high quality service.

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