You just found out that the outdoor part of your air conditioning system is not repairable. Although it worked well over the previous several years, the technical hired to take a look has informed you that the condenser is broken, and the cost of repairing it will far outweigh just replacing it altogether. It might leave you questioning whether you can get away with replacing just the damaged part, or if you have to replace the entire system. There are situations when replacing only one part is a sound choice, and others when it is not. But how do you know?
When it is a Good Choice to Replace Only the Broken Part of the System
It is industry standard to suggest that a homeowner replace both the outside and the inside of an air conditioning system when the compressor breaks. There are, however, exceptions to the rule. Situations like when your air conditioner is new and still under warranty might mean that you can just replace the outdoor part because it is typically out of your hands. And since your model is probably still current, it is possible to find the exact component you need to repair what is broken.
Why Replacing the Entire System is Almost Always a Better Choice
If you have an existing air conditioning system that is relatively not new; in general, it is better to replace the entire system and start new. The reason is that the system was designed to work together as a team. And in older systems, a condenser that is not manufacturer-placed will likely not work 100% compatible with your existing unit. And that can lead to substantial problems down the line.
Therefore, if you are going to replace just one expensive part, then you could end up throwing money out the window. And you will probably also end up replacing it sooner than later anyway. Even if your unit works relatively alright with the new condenser, the fact that the parts are not 100% compatible, will put additional wear and tear on your unit. And it will also result in higher monthly energy bills, which equals more cost in the end.
Being Environmentally Compliant Comes at a Significant Cost
Systems that are not newer and use R-22 refrigerant need to be upgraded to R-410 to comply with federal environmental protection legislation. So if you are operating with a system that is nearly a decade old, you are increasing your carbon footprint substantially and hurting the environment. So even if you can extend the life of your unit to try and save money on replacing the entire system, the cost of upgrading to be compliant will be expensive and time consuming, which could lead to more downtime in the heat of the summer.
For many homeowners, it is a difficult decision to sometimes know if repairing or replacing is more cost-effective. Sometimes to save pennies, we spend dollars. The only way to know for sure if you are going to throw good money after bad, or if it is a more sound decision to opt for new, is to have your system repaired and evaluated by a Charleston heating and air conditioning company like Carney & Son.
Contact us today for all of your HVAC questions.