Many homeowners are getting ready to fire up their air conditioners for the first time this summer. Unfortunately, many are faced with the fact that their AC is no longer working after months of disuse. After an inspection, your air conditioner specialist may have informed you that the condenser unit is the cause of the problem. Now you are faced with deciding whether it is better to repair the condenser unit or to replace it entirely.
It can be difficult to determine what the best option is for your money. Consider the following insights from your air conditioning contractor in Tuscaloosa, AL to help you determine the best course of action.
Cause of failure
A condenser unit can stop working due to a variety of factors, but the most common are compressor and coil failures. Unfortunately, both can be quite expensive to repair.
If the broken compressor is the cause of your problem, be prepared to spend a large amount of money, as it is one of the most expensive parts to replace. Oftentimes, the cost can exceed that of a new air conditioner. The repair price can be even steeper in older air conditioners, as they also require repair to the indoor coil once the condenser unit has failed.
If that’s not the problem, the issue may be caused by a capacitor issue. In older units, the compressor begins to draw a large amount of energy on the startup cycle. Over time, this detrimental behavior can cause the capacitor to fail entirely. Luckily, this is a pretty common and relatively cheap repair.
Coil failures tend to be a bit less costly than a broken compressor. Making repairs is a suitable fix for a coil failure if shelling out the cash for a replacement part is out of the question at this time. This is one issue that could have easily been avoided as it is most commonly caused by dirty condenser coils.
Regular maintenance on your condenser units can actually prevent most issues from happening prematurely. Have a professional perform an annual maintenance check and make any necessary repairs to maintain optimal performance and prevent unnecessary breakdowns. But maintenance can only help so much, as some units are beyond help based on the run time and operating conditions. Age, electrical issues and corrosion can drastically affect the life of the unit. Most condenser units have an average lifespan of 15 to 17 years. If your unit is older than that, it’s probably best to replace it, as it will just require more repairs the older it gets.
Choosing to repair or replace
If the cost of the repair exceeds half of the price to install a new system then your best option is probably replacement. The same goes if the equipment is more than 10 years old. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up spending more money on repairs a few years down the line.
Knowing when to repair or replace your condenser unit can be difficult without the guidance of an air conditioning contractor in Tuscaloosa, AL. Contact Adams Heating & Cooling today for help in identifying your best option.