Anything can be repaired, including air conditioners.
It pretty much just comes down to how much time, effort, and money you’re willing to throw at it—at some point the cost of a repair is going to outweigh the cost of a replacement.
Having said that, we’re still sometimes surprised when a homeowner asks us for a second opinion on whether or not their air conditioner really needs to be replaced as a competitor suggested… and it completely doesn’t.
The goal of this post is to give you an idea about the “replacement threshold,” that is to say, when it’s a smarter financial move to replace than it is to repair.
- The average lifespan of an air conditioner in Northern Colorado
- How to tell when an air conditioner should be repaired
- A handy “rule of thumb” equation to determine the smartest financial decision possible
- How to get more help from a trusted team of experts
Let’s begin with an important piece of information. Just how long do air conditioners last anyway?
What’s the Average Lifespan of an Air Conditioner?
The only real, accurate answer here is something nobody wants to hear: “it depends.”
Factors like location, frequency of use, the unit’s maintenance history, local humidity, and so on can all impact the duration
Having said that, there are a few general guidelines we can give you. On average, most well maintained air conditioners last about 15 years in Northern Colorado.
20 years is about the maximum life expectancy of an air conditioner—if not because of wear and tear, but because of advancements in quality and energy savings. In other words, your air conditioner from 1998 might still work, but you’re probably paying too much on your energy bill to justify keeping it around.
How Can I Tell if My Air Conditioner Should Be Repaired?
Barring any unusual problems unrelated to normal wear and tear, if your air conditioner is under 10 years old, you’re probably going to be just fine getting it repaired.
Like we discussed in the beginning of this post, just about anything can be repaired for a price. So that’s what we’re going to focus on—price. The cost of a repair vs. the cost of replacement should be one of the primary determining factors in your decision making process.
The price of air conditioner installation in Loveland will be the same as in Windsor, Greeley, or Fort Collins, so we can factor out location. What does make a difference in the price of a new air conditioner in Northern Colorado is the size of the house that needs to be cooled.
For the equipment plus installation, you might be looking at $3,500 to $4,000 in a moderately sized home. Depending on the brand, whether or not the house is quite large, or additional labor that needs to be done (e.g., ductwork), that price can go as high as $5,000 to $7,000.
An Equation to Determine if You Should Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner in Northern Colorado
A handy equation to use to determine if a repair is worth it in the long run is to multiply the age in years of your current air conditioning unit by the cost of the repair. If that’s less than the cost of a completely new air conditioning unit
So it looks like this:
Age of your air conditioning unit in years X total cost of repair for current unit.
If this number is lower than the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s usually financially smart to do a repair.
Let’s say that your air conditioner is 6 years old. The cost of repairing it is $275. A new air conditioner would cost you $3,500.
Using the equation above, we can determine that 6 years X $275 equals a total of $1,675, which is far less than the cost of the new air conditioner at $3,500. The smart move is to repair your unit.
This equation isn’t a rule—other factors can and should play a part in your decision. If you’re constantly shelling out $50 or $100 for minor repairs on a 20 year old air conditioning unit, it might “work” within the equation to simply keep on repairing it… but that’s going to add up quickly, plus you’re likely missing out on tons of energy cost reducing advancements that a newer air conditioner would have.
How to Get More Help
It can be tough to figure out whether you should buy a new air conditioner or simply repair your existing unit. We all want to make smart financial decisions.
If you’re looking for an HVAC company in Northern Colorado that you can trust, or even just a second opinion, we’re here to help you make the best choice possible. We earned our A+ BBB rating through honesty and integrity.
We’re here to help you stay cool—summer isn’t over yet!