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Can I Replace My Own AC Unit?

AC unitIs it bad for AC to run constantly?

Summer has arrived in Texas, and it has made its presence known. As normal, we went from winter to summer with spring poking its head in for about a day and then three digit temps hit. What do you do when your air conditioner isn’t working, though? Is it repairable or do you need to be looking at air conditioning replacement?  

Well, it isn’t good. Especially for your electric bill or the air conditioner unit either. On an average summer day, even in Texas, we can expect an air conditioner to run about 15 minutes every cycle. If it is running longer than thirty minutes or longer, then the is probably something wrong, and you may need to look at an air conditioning replacement sooner rather than later.

So, can you run your air conditioner 24 7?

No. A straightforward answer that has many reasons behind it. As we just stated above, running your air conditioner 24/7is straining the unit and your budget. The amount of energy that waste is simply no good. Whether you have the settings so that it makes it run 24/7 or it is running constantly on its own, it is not a good thing.

What if it is running constantly 24/7 on its own? Does this mean you can expect to be installing an air conditioner replacement in the middle of a sweltering summer? Or does that mean it only needs repairing?

How often do you need to replace your air conditioner?

According to Energy Star, the program that is managed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOE (Department of Energy) recommends replacing your air conditioning unit every ten to fifteen years. However, any mechanical equipment, like an air conditioner, can wear out before it has reached that expected lifespan. Or is repairing all it needs?  Which one is needed for the air conditioner, repair vs replace?

When is an air conditioner repair vs replace the best decision? The 5,000 rule is the primary rule of thumb that air conditioning repair experts suggest.  Take the age of your air conditioner and multiply it by the cost of the repair estimate. If you get $5,000 or more, air conditioning replacement is the best option. If the number you get is below $5,000, proceed with the repair, but look at the following things as a guideline:

  • Age of the Air Conditioner: this may be the most important factor to consider when trying to decide if the replacing your air conditioner, it fixes by a simple air conditioner replacement fan is still a viable option. Or does it something more expensive? How many repair calls have you made over the past two summers?
  • Energy Efficiency: The recent advances in air condition technology has improved energy efficiency a lot, making the run better and cool better without costing an arm and a leg every month its hot. The older a unit gets, the less efficient it becomes, even an Energy Star rated air conditioner will start becoming less energy efficient. While Energy Star recommends air conditioning replacement or upgrade every ten years, HVAC experts advise that with proper homeowner maintenance and regular inspections by a professional HVAC technician, you can get fifteen year or longer and still have that energy efficiency we need.
  • The R-22: This can be a deciding factor that will influence if air conditioning replacement or repair is best. Yes, when you have your air conditioner inspected by a professional HVAC technician, they will check the refrigerant and add some if needed. However, if your air conditioner isn’t cooling and the HVAC technician tells you it has a cooling line leaking the refrigerant, air conditioning replacement may be the better option. Sometimes the technician can “patch” the line where it is leaking, but most likely, you will have to call them back out before a Texas summer is over. At $40 or more per can of refrigerant and the labor to have it added to your air conditioner, a replacement unit will be cheaper when you average that cost out over two summers.
  • Other indications: An air conditioning replacement is the better option is your electric bill each month. Yes, it increases over the summer, but does it seem to be more and more every summer? If your monthly energy bill is increasing by $200 or more every summer, repairing it again is not a worthwhile way to spend your money.

Do you feel a new HVAC unit will cost too much? Sure, the immediate out-of-pocket cost is more, anywhere between $4,000 to $8,000 and up. What you need to keep in mind, the new Energy Star rated air conditioning replacement will save you 20% more each month.

How many years does an AC last?

To get at many as 15 years out of your HVAC Energy Star air conditioning replacement unit:

  • Keep your filter changed or cleaned every 30 days.
  • Keep the outside unit free from debris like grass growing up on it and in it.
  • Keep the air ductwork cleaned annually by a professional and repair or replace the ductwork as needed.
  • Keep regular appointments with your HVAC technician for inspection and maintenance. To gauge the condition of your existing A/C, schedule an inspection with an HVAC technician.

AC unit

Can you replace just the outside AC unit?

The outside unit of your HVAC system has quit. After several years of providing cooled air in the summer, it is done. Your HVAC technician recommends replacing the entire unit, exterior unit, and interior unit. Why both?

 If your HVAC system is still under warranty, the manufacturer will probably replace a new unit for free, or with a small deductible paid by you. If the exterior portion can be replaced and matched with the interior unit to work together, that is always possible. 

Unfortunately, depending on the age of both the exterior and the interior units, complete air conditioning replacement is needed. Matching a brand new exterior unit with an older interior unit may not be compatible. 

Keep your HVAC system maintained, and you’ll have a long lifespan from the unit, keeping you cool and comfortable on these hot Texas days and nights.  Ignore your homeowner maintenance and avoid the expense of having a professional HVAC technician inspect your unit annually, you’ll be having an air conditioning replacement before you’re ready. Call (817) 398-8887today for your air conditioner replacement in Mansfield and Arlington, TX.