Having Air Conditioner Repaired
When your air conditioning unit breaks down, the thought of whether you should have it repaired or replaced may come up. Many readers are most likely going to choose to give their unit life by having a contractor fix it since this option usually seems more feasible. But is it really the better option of the two? How long will a unit continue to work since its last repair? Could a brand new unit provide more value than fixing your old air conditioner?
All of these questions boil down to a single one: which option can give you a better value in the long run? Below are some of the things to consider in order to help answer whether you should repair or replace your unit.
The first thing to consider in having a unit repaired is its warranty coverage. It makes sense to have the unit fixed if it is still covered by either the manufacturer warranty or a service contract which came with the air conditioner when you purchased it. Check with the contractor’s warranty if they provide air conditioning services in the same location where you purchased the unit or at a service centre.
It is important to take note of the protection which comes with the warranty. Different warranties provide various coverage lengths on the components of the unit. There are some warranties which might not include additional costs to the repair of the unit, such as the labour expenses or removal/installation of a component. The air conditioner contractor or manufacturer should be able to explain the warranty coverage of your unit to you in detail.
Age of the unit
If your unit was built before the 90s or is more than 10 years old, it is usually a good idea to have it replaced. Units of this age were made before the creation of the Energy Star label. Energy Star is a program which helps companies make electricity efficient appliances. Older units may use much more electricity to increase its cool air production than newer units. Energy Star labelled units are made to provide the same amount of cooling as previous units while consuming less energy.
Another reason for replacing old units is the state of its components. Every appliance has an average life expectancy since its components degrade over time. Repairing an old unit might only allow the unit to work for a brief period of time or may not provide the same rate of cold air as before.
Cost of the repair
The other important factor in determining if a unit should be replaced or not is the cost of repairing it. Older units or some air conditioners might cost more to fix due to the low availability of parts. Manufacturers often discontinue components from previous air conditioner models. This makes the parts scarce and difficult to find.
A good rule of thumb is to compare the cost of the repair to the average price of newer units. If the repair cost is more than half of the value of a younger air conditioner unit, it is advisable to have the old one replaced. Paying twice the repair costs can give you a unit which has a fresh warranty and produces more cool air than the previous one, with fewer problems overall.
Repairing your air conditioner is a good option if it is still covered by the warranty and is less than 10 years of age. If it is made before 1992 or if the cost to fix it is more than half of the average price of a new unit, replacing the unit is a good idea. Remember, regular maintenance and cleaning can keep your unit from breaking down soon after purchase. Take advantage of your warranty by having it serviced by the manufacturer or a qualified contractor (air conditioning company) within your area.
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