Should I Repair Or Replace My AC Unit?

Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning

Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors


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AC wall unit mounted outsideIs your AC unit not working like it used to? This can be extremely frustrating when the summer comes around and the heat causes your home to feel uncomfortable. Your first thought may be that you need to replace your broken unit, but that might not be needed. You might be able to have the unit repaired for less than the cost of replacement so you can stay cool with the same unit longer. If you need to replace your AC unit, there are some telltale signs to look out for.

If you have never dealt with repairing or replacing an AC unit before, it will be difficult to tell the difference between a fixable unit and one that should be removed and replaced. Here is a quick guide to finding out if you are better off getting the unit replaced or repaired.

Full Diagnostic Check

Before making any big decisions, perform a full diagnostic check on your AC unit to see if the problem is fixable, or if you will need a new unit right away. You do not want to repair a small issue only to find out that your unit should have been replaced, and you also do not need to spend the money on a new unit if the problem is minor.

How to Perform a Diagnostic Check

To do a diagnostic check, begin by looking at the thermostat settings. Paying a high electricity bill could be a sign of an issue with your unit. However, if your thermostat keeps your AC on even while you are not home, then this could be the only issue. Check all the settings and make sure that the AC is not being used when it should not be on.

Next, carefully inspect all of the electrical components of the unit and ensure that all currents and voltages are correct. This can be a dangerous procedure for any untrained DIYer, so call an expert to handle the evaluation. If the measurements are lower than what they were when the unit was first installed, then it could point to a bigger issue.

Age and Energy Bills

Couple dealing with high energy billsAC units can last quite some time, but they do have an expiration date. After 10 to 15 years, a unit will likely show signs of wear and tear and not work as well as it used to. This could also be an issue with the furnace as well, so replacing both after 10 or so years will keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

However, if your unit is having some issues but is only a few years old, it is unlikely that you will need to replace it. There can be some small problems that are affecting how well the unit is running that could be cause for repair, but will not require replacement of the entire unit.

If your AC unit is not working correctly, you will start to see your energy bills getting higher and higher. This is a major sign that your unit has a problem, and if your bills have been rising for a few months, then it is likely time for a full replacement.

What is the Comfort Level Indoors?

When your unit is in need of a replacement you may find that the temperature in your house, even with the AC on, is not what it should be. Some rooms may feel significantly hotter than others, and you may start to feel like the unit does not do much at all. This can be a sign that your unit needs to be replaced, especially with older models.

Replacing Aged Parts or Getting New Ones

Contractor working to replace an ac unitIf you find that you are repairing or replacing parts often, then this is a sign that your unit needs to be replaced. Repairs or replacement of parts should make the unit run better if it is still in working condition, but if the unit still does not work better even after many repairs or new parts, it is time for a full replacement. This can also be the cheaper option in the long run, as multiple repairs can add up with no end in sight.

Commonly Damaged Parts

If there is damage to your AC unit, there are some performance issues that will arise. Understanding the issues will help you find where the damage is located. Instead of choosing to replace the AC unit, you could repair the damage to combat the issue.


An air conditioning repairman working on a compressor unit.The average AC unit will have up to three contactors, which is used to start the motors when the AC is turned on. If these contactors have been damaged, they will not engage the motor and the AC unit will not turn on.


As an important part of your AC unit, the compressor needs to be well maintained. The amount of refrigerant needed should be kept consistent to ensure that the level is not over or under the needed amount. If refrigerant levels are not maintained, then the compressor will not work, and the AC unit will not be effective.


The filter is another important part of your HVAC unit, and its job is to keep all particles from dirt and dust out of the unit. If the filter is damaged, it will no longer keep these particles out and could cause the motors to not work correctly. If the filter gets overstuffed with particles, it could overheat the motor by cutting off the air supply.

Consult with Experts Today at Presidential

Contractor replacing ac unitStill not 100% sure whether you should repair or replace the AC unit? Consult the experts at Presidential Heating and Air to speak with a professional. They will be able to address your concerns and schedule a consultation to take a look at your HVAC system.

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