Making a decision to repair or replace an air conditioning system can be a difficult judgment call, but it’s easier if you bear three critical factors in mind, comfort, convenience, and cost. Broadly speaking you can express these three factors in the form of questions that you need to ask yourself before you make a final decision. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use these questions to decide between repairing or replacing your AC system.

How Will Your Decision Affect Your Comfort?

When you install an air conditioning system in your home, you’re making a significant investment in your indoor comfort. For many people, the small cost savings made by stretching their AC system to last one more year are simply not worth it. After all, if there are family members in the home that are young, elderly or have health conditions, it’s essential the air conditioning is working effectively. In these circumstances, it makes no sense to try and save a few bucks and risk some downtime due to an unexpected equipment failure.

It’s worth bearing in mind that heat can harm vulnerable people and pets very quickly. During the hottest months of the year, the temperature in your home can rise at an alarming speed when the cooling system stops working. Then time will be needed to source a certified HVAC engineer, and there will be downtime until the system is repaired. Being stuck in a 90º home is a miserable experience, and it can be dangerous for some family members.

Pregnant women are especially at risk when the air conditioning system fails. It’s very easy to get overheated during pregnancy, and an unborn child may be more at risk of birth defects and a lower birth rate if it’s exposed to extreme temperatures. Anyone suffering from heart conditions or a respiratory illness or allergies may be subjected to a great deal of distress and discomfort when they breathe heated air. These breathing problems will be further exacerbated it the humidity levels are allowed to rise. Age is also a significant factor; the younger or older a person is, the more susceptible they may be to dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Young children, elderly people, and pets may also be unable to communicate how uncomfortable they are until it’s too late.

Will Your Decision be Convenient?

When your AC system is working well, it’s easy to take it for granted, but think for a moment about the consequences if it stopped working on a hot day. It may be necessary to take time off; perhaps the entire family would need to be relocated to somewhere with indoor cooling. Can you even find somewhere that would allow you to take your pets and do you have elderly relatives with special needs? If the temperatures are soaring, it would be very risky to leave people at home with no cooling to keep them safe.

Even if you’re a health adult and you feel that you can handle the heat, there are real risks that you need to be aware of. Going to work and then returning to a home that has been steadily heating for the entire day is undoubtedly going to be a miserable experience. It’s likely that you won’t be able to relax, your sleep will suffer, and this will be reflected in your working life as well.

An air conditioning system will only break down when it’s hot outside. The extra demands made on an older AC system during the cooling season can really take a toll on your equipment. When an AC system is reaching the end of its useful lifespan, it will be far more prone to failing when you need it most. There is no good time to be left without air conditioning when a heat wave hits and the HVAC technicians are at their busiest. If your AC fails during a heat wave, you may be waiting more than the expected 24-48 hours before an HVAC technician can reach you.

If your AC system is becoming more expensive to repair and your technician advises you to replace it consider this advice carefully. It may be tempting to risk another year of cooling service, but if the system fails it simply isn’t worth the hassle. When you install a newer AC system, you will get improved performance, better energy efficiency and perhaps, more importantly, peace of mind for the cooling season ahead.

Will Your Decision Make Sense from a Cost Perspective?

At some point in the useful lifespan of your AC system, it will make more sense to replace your equipment rather than repair it. There are several factors to consider before you make a final decision, but it’s fair to say that many people will look at the cost first. This is understandable, replacing an AC system can be expensive, and many people don’t have that kind of money saved up for a rainy day. For those without access to the necessary funds, financing is available for most credit scores to get a new AC system in place before the warmer weather arrives.

Many people dislike financing any purchase, this is an understandable point of view, no one wants additional monthly payments, but there is an upside. When you install a new AC system, it will be far more energy efficient than your older model. The HVAC industry is continually evolving and the equipment manufactured today is far more efficient than a model made less than a decade ago. So, even though you may need to pay for your new AC system using financing, it will cool your home better and be cheaper to run. Check with your local HVAC specialist to see what deals they have, and you may be surprised.

It may be tempting to buy the cheapest AC system available, but this could be a false economy. The cost of your AC system will depend on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency  Rating (SEER), the cooling capacity and the quality of the equipment. The SEER will determine the level of cooling that’s put out for each unit of energy consumed. But, simply buying the highest SEER cooling system will not guarantee energy savings. It’s also extremely important to get the right AC system size for your home. Contact your local HVAC professional for expert help and advice in choosing the right AC system to meet your needs.