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Repair or Replace? How the $5,000 Rule Applies to Your HVAC Unit

The HVAC unit(s) in your home or business are much like the engine in your car. If you’re not a mechanic or HVAC technician, you don’t think much about the high-tech piece of equipment if it’s functioning in the background as normal. As soon as it starts to make a nuisance of itself, however, everything changes: the “service engine light comes on,” it starts making a funny noise, and worse still, you start losing fuel efficiency.

Engines must be serviced regularly, just like HVAC units, even when they’re not acting up. But if your unit IS acting up, how do you know whether to repair or replace it?

The $5,000 Rule

How old is your unit? Get your hands on this information. Hopefully it was made available to you at the time of your property purchase, but if not, have your unit assessed by a professional to determine the age of your unit and to get a quote for repairs.

If you’re wondering whether to repair or replace the unit, some professionals will recommend taking the age of the unit and multiplying that number by the cost of repairs. If your total is under $5,000, paying the cost of repairs will likely be the most cost-efficient option. The older the unit, the more likely you will be better off simply replacing it.

For example, if your unit is seven years old, and the cost of repairs is $400, you’re looking at an amount of $2,800.

7 X $400 = $2800 VS 15 X $400 = $6000

For a fifteen-year-old unit with the same cost of repairs, however, you would be wise to look at newer models for replacement as it will be more cost-efficient in the long run. Otherwise you may be looking at more frequent repairs.

Contact a Professional

Energy Star estimates that energy-efficient A/C units result in 20 percent savings on heating and cooling costs right off the bat. Talk to a professional today to assess the efficiency of your unit.

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