Home Air Conditioner: Repair or Replace?

When temperatures rise, your home air conditioner needs to be dependable. 

Staying comfortable is essential during the hottest months, so we teamed up with American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning to share these tips on whether to maintain or replace your AC.


Vine growing on top of an outside air conditioner unit
Plants growing on your AC’s condenser unit block airflow, which can lead to cooling problems. (TomSmith585, Getty Images Signature)

DIY Maintenance

If your air conditioner is less than 10 years old, then some do-it-yourself maintenance can help improve its efficiency.

These are some things you can do to keep your home air conditioner running smoothly.

  • Replace the air filter every month to avoid unnecessary calls to a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician. After you remove the old filter, vacuum or wipe off the grill that holds the filter in place and insert the new filter. Then close the cover. 
  • Make sure the heating and cooling system’s ductwork is insulated. If your home and its ductwork are air-sealed properly, your home can cool much faster, and maintain that temperature much longer. 
  • Remove any debris and vegetation from around the outside condenser unit to maximize airflow. 

Couple speaks with a home air conditioner technician
If your best efforts to maintain your AC aren’t enough to keep your home cool, call a professional. (American Standard)

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve performed seasonal maintenance on your home’s air conditioner and it’s still not functioning properly, it’s time to call a professional.

Also, if your home air conditioner malfunctions, or has damaged ductwork or exposed electrical connections, don’t try to fix this yourself. 

These issues must be addressed by a trained technician who can evaluate your system and make the best recommendation based on your needs. 


Two workers move to install a home air conditioner
When the cost to repair exceeds the cost of a new home air conditioner, it’s time to replace it. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Time to Replace Your Home Air Conditioner

Choosing to repair or replace your home air conditioner both cost. By weighing the options, you can determine what gives you the biggest return on your investment. 

If you have an older system, it may cost more to operate and/or repair, because it is not as energy efficient, and manufacturing for some of its parts may have been discontinued.

Most older units use the outdated refrigerant Freon, so eventually, you’ll have to upgrade to equipment that uses the latest refrigerant.

Does your unit frequently break down? Does it make odd noises or take a long time to reach the cooling set point? If so, you may need to seriously consider a replacement.

A good rule of thumb for determining whether to repair or replace a home air conditioner is to use the $5,000 rule. Just multiply the age of your equipment by the estimated repair cost. If the number you get is more than $5,000, consider a replacement. If less, repair it. 

In the market for a new air conditioner? Local rebates or tax credits may be available for purchasing an energy-efficient system.

First, call a professional to do a free in-home visit and learn about your options. To find your local American Standard Customer Care Dealer, visit their website at americanstandardair.com


Further Reading

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Danny I know I don’t have a unique problem but I can find a solution can you help? I was recently changing the outside plastic vents under the eaves for the bathroom vent fans. I couldn’t believe how much of the A/C air was going to the outside instead of staying in the house to keep us cool. Is there any way to prevent this?? Thanks in advance, we love the show….
    Best regards,
    Wayne

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here