Should I Repair or Replace my AC Unit?

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One of the most common questions we receive here at Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing from our customers in Germantown, Gaithersburg, Potomac, Clarksburg, and throughout Montgomery County, MD is, “Should I repair or replace my air conditioning unit?” This is definitely an important question to consider as we approach the cooling season, especially since either repairing or replacing an AC unit is costly.
Three factors matter most when you’re trying to decide whether it’s best to repair or replace your unit:

Life Expectancy

How old is your AC unit? Most units last between eight and 12 years –after that point they become expensive to repair and break down often. Also, older units may require parts that are discontinued, which cause them to be very expensive to obtain. Over the years, did you schedule professional AC maintenance? If not, it may be advantageous to schedule AC replacement with us—not only will repairs be costlier over time, you and your family are missing out on a more comfortable home (as well as possible savings on your energy costs) by using an inefficient, unreliable unit.

On the other hand, if your unit is only a few years old (think two or three years) and has been relatively trouble free but has recently exhibited minor trouble signs, AC repair may be the sensible, cost-effective option. Minor repairs can quickly become expensive—call us so a professional can handle the matter. Most air conditioner problems stem from minor issues, most of which can be easily repaired by a trained and qualified HVAC technician.


If you choose to repair an old AC unit, you will still have the efficiency that it was rated for when it was manufactured. Older units are far less efficient than newer ones due to improvements in technology as well as more stringent energy standards put in place by the government. Units are rated by SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which is a benchmark of how efficient a given air conditioning system is. To obtain ENERGY STAR certification, an AC system must have a SEER rating of at least 14.

You can save a significant amount of money on your energy costs this cooling season by switching over to an efficient AC unit. Best of all, there is an excellent AC tax credit available (until Dec. 31, 2013) for the purchase and installation of an efficient unit. This is part of the extension of the 25c tax credit for efficient HVAC equipment. Give us a call at 301-990-7970 to learn more.

Current Condition

You really need to consider the current condition of your AC unit when you’re deciding whether to repair or replace it. Is your AC equipment made by a reputable brand? How often does your unit experience a breakdown? Does your AC unit blow warm or lukewarm air? Does the unit take a long time to cool your home? Are certain parts of your MD home cooler than other parts, creating an uncomfortable living environment?

These are all questions you should take into consideration. If your unit hasn’t been adequately maintained over the years, encounters frequent breakdowns, or is of an inferior quality, consider replacement as a serious option. We’re proud to be an authorized dealer of American Standard brand HVAC equipment that can serve you and your family for many years to come.

Let Michael Bonsby Settle the Repair vs. Replace Debate

If you’re still unsure about whether you should have your AC unit repaired or replaced, contact Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing. We’ll send a licensed, qualified HVAC technician to inspect your unit and prescribe the best solution going forward.

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