What to Do When an Older AC Breaks Down


Summer is here, and while Southern California has enjoyed mild weather of late thanks to a period of June gloom, high temperatures are going to hit us harder than ever. If you have an older air conditioner, a breakdown or similar repair call can present quite a dilemma. Do you pay for repairs and keep the existing system running for another season or two? Or pay for a replacement rather than throwing good money after bad? Air conditioning is an absolutely necessity in the Southland, and you might save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs by making the right call.

Every situation is unique, of course, and at the end of the day, only individual homeowners can determine whether to repair a given air conditioner problem or replace it. The issue ultimately comes down to cost: what represents the best investment of your money. A few specific details can help make that call.

Warranties Matter

The warranty on your air conditioner usually lasts from 8-12 years or so, depending on the model. As long as it’s in effect, the original parts can be replaced for free, which cuts down on the price of most repairs significantly. As long as the warranty is still in effect, it’s usually a better idea to repair the air conditioner than replace it. Even if the warranty has expired, repairs may still be the way to go. (One of the reasons we push regular maintenance sessions is that it helps cut down on repair problems later in the air conditioner’s life.) If the warranty has expired and the costs of continuing to run the system are just too much, however, it may be time to replace the system with a new one.

Weigh the Costs Carefully

Costs usually entail a repair call of some variety, and if the repair job costs more than the existing system is worth, you’re usually better off investing that money in a new system instead of pouring it into the old. The same adage holds true for relatively inexpensive repairs, provided they pop up more often than you’d like. If you need to schedule more than two repair calls in a single twelve-month period, that’s usually a sign that a new system is ┬áin order.

In some cases, it might not involve a breakdown either. As air conditioners get older, they cost more and more to run on a monthly basis, and while regular maintenance can reduce the amount of wear and tear, sooner or later age, catches up to everything. Older systems tend to cost more to run than newer, more efficient models by default, and if yours has gotten to the point where you simply can’t pay more in monthly expenses, investing in a new system might make the most amount of sense. And doing so now means you’ll enjoy the improved savings all summer long, helping to offset at least some of the costs of a new system.

For AC repair and replacement in the greater Los Angeles, CA area, call Circulating Air, Inc. today!


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