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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

The End of Maintenance? You May Need a New AC

ac-units-scrapyardIn our past two posts, we wrote about the importance of having regular AC maintenance each spring. We could post plenty more about this topic, since it’s that important—you can have most of your potential AC problem vanish thanks to keeping up with maintenance. There is one AC problem you can’t avoid this way, however, which is that the time will come when your air conditioner must be replaced. Maintenance will postpone that day, but no cooling system can last forever, no matter how much care it receives.

This year might be the year. You schedule maintenance with our technicians, we examine the AC, and explain that it’s not likely to last much longer unless it has expensive repairs—repairs that won’t be worth it compared to replacing it with a new AC.

You can trust us for honest opinions

Not every HVAC contractor in Alachua, FL is looking just to make a fast buck by getting customers to invest in a new system when they don’t need it. We have more than twenty years of history serving the community, and one of the reasons we’ve been around so long is because we’ve earned people’s trust. We want customers who will keep coming back to us because we deliver what’s promised. If we think maintenance or a repair will keep your AC going for a few more years—and working efficiently—we’ll tell you. And if we believe a new system is a better long-term investment than an expensive repair, we’ll also tell you. 

The age of your AC will help you make a choice

Air conditioning age is an automatic reason to either replace or keep an air conditioner. A system that’s well maintained may go a few years over its service life estimate, while one that isn’t maintained at all may not even get halfway to the lower end of the estimate. However, age is still a good benchmark: most central ACs will last between 10 to 15 years. Once an air conditioner is older than 15 years is when it’s wise to pay closer attention to other indications that AC is winding down. These include:

  • Loud or strange noises
  • Uneven cooling that leave hot spots around the house
  • Rapid on-off operation (short-cycling)
  • Frequent repairs (more than once a year is too much)
  • Increasing electrical bills unrelated to use or energy costs

“The Rule of 5,000”

Here’s a basic measurement to help you understand when a repair might be too expensive compared to a replacement. Take the quoted price of the repair and multiply it by the age in years of the AC. If this result is more than 5,000, the repair is too expensive. For example, a 10-year-old AC needs a $400 repair. 10 x 400 = 4,000. The repair is likely worth it. But if a 14-year-old AC needs a repair that’s the same cost (14 x 400 = 5,600), then a new system is probably the best course. 

We’re here to answer your questions and help see that you have the air conditioning system and AC solutions you need.

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