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Repair or Replace: Which Choice Is Right for Your Air Conditioning System?

Air conditioning is not just a matter of comfort; it’s also about energy efficiency and the size of your utility bill. The age and efficiency of your temperature in the workplace also has a direct impact on job performance.

When your air conditioning starts to perform differently or stops working altogether, it needs to be repaired or replaced quickly. The challenge for homeowners and business owners in Texas is in knowing which path to take. You want to get as many years of services out of your air conditioning system as possible, but you also want to enjoy the best possible air quality.

If your system has needed repairs or you fear it’s nearing the end of its useful life, how should you decide whether to repair or replace?  We’ve put together some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when making this decision.

  1. All Repairs are Not Created Equal. Like any mechanical system, as your AC system ages, it will require costlier and more frequent repairs. But the decision to repair or replace can be affected more by the type of repairs.
  2. Equipment Age. Unfortunately, our hot central Texas summers mean AC systems last only 8 to 12 years on average. Your system may suffer a major breakdown earlier or it may run well for much longer.  But it’s clear that the older the system, the more costly the repairs are likely to be and the less efficient it’s likely to run.

Keep in mind that an 8 year old system running efficiently today is still much less efficient than a current model. Just another consideration in the repair or replace decision.

  1. Availability of Parts. As equipment ages it gets more difficult to find replacement parts and the prices usually go up. A common example of this Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioningis the coolant that your unit uses the cool the air in your home.  Freon used to be the industry standard refrigerant until January 2010, when the federal government banned its manufacture.  Since then, new units have used Puron.  Although Freon is no longer manufactured, it is still available.  But its cost rises as supplies dwindle. An older unit that uses Freon is a prime candidate for replacement.
  2. Cost of Repair. Replacement should be considered on an 8-10 year system if the cost of repair is more than $500. For each additional year of age, the maximum repair amount should be $50 less. So, for an 11-year-old AC, the maximum you should pay for a repair is $450. This isn’t an exact formula, but it will give you a guideline to follow.
  3. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooled air as air conditioners made just a few years ago. If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, not only do you have a less efficient unit, but your unit is no longer running at its own peak efficiency. Because today’s higher efficiency units can save homeowners up to 60% on their annual utility bills, they are a popular choice.  The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system, the less it costs to operate and the longer the equipment is likely to last.
  4. Allergies or Asthma. If you or a member of your family has recently been diagnosed with seasonal allergies or asthma, your indoor air quality may suddenly be an important factor in deciding whether to repair or replace.  With today’s modern systems, you may be able to improve your whole house indoor air quality by 99%.  A Christianson trained technician can help you determine if system replacement is right for you.


The care you provide your air conditioning system will help to determine how well and for how long it performs. Below are the air conditioning services offered by Christianson & Co:

If you decide to replace your A/C, start with a free no obligation estimate so you can accurately compare your cost. Call us at 512-246-5200 and ask how we can install a new energy-efficient A/C system that will save you even more.

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P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599, Website: http://www.tdlr.texas.gov