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AC units are expensive, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to replace your current system until you absolutely have to. However, there isn’t a clear line for knowing when to replace it instead of repair it.

If you’re wondering how to know when to replace your AC instead of repair it, here are a few signs to look for:

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If your AC unit needs help, but it’s only two or three years old, then you’re better off getting it repaired. AC units should last up to 10 years, which means that repairing your AC is likely the better choice at this point. However, you may want to look into the AC warranty if you’re having too many problems with it so soon after buying it.

Older AC units, meaning 10 years or more, should be replaced. After a certain age, they stop being efficient even with regular upkeep and maintenance. If your unit is anywhere between 10-15 years and has regular maintenance problems, replacing it may be in your best interest as older units can cost more to repair due to a lack of available parts.

Frequent Repairs

ACs that require frequent repairs should likely be replaced. If you’re on a first-name basis with your AC technician or seem to schedule appointments every few months, you should look into other options. After so many repairs, it becomes more expensive to keep your current AC than replacing it with a newer system that works better.

Minor repairs are no big deal, but if you regularly have to replace the condenser or compressor, then talk with your technician about the possibility of replacing your unit. It may just be cheaper than calling for repairs every other month.

Inefficient Cooling

A good AC will provide excellent cooling without breaking the bank. If you notice that your AC is constantly running, increasing your energy bill greatly, or isn’t cooling your house evenly, you may want to look into replacement options. 

AC units should be able to maintain a cool temperature in your home without causing a spike in your energy bill. There are ways to improve the efficiency of your AC, such as through thermostats and dehumidifiers, but if you’re spending an obscene amount on energy costs, then replacing your AC may be the best idea.

Obsolete Refrigerant

Many older ACs use R-22 as a refrigerant, also known as freon. Due to climate change bills and environmental movements, this type of refrigerant is no longer being produced. While you can still find it in some stores, it’s becoming harder and harder to find as well as more and more expensive.

If your AC runs on R-22, it’s probably a good idea to replace it. Even if it still runs decently, the cost of refrigerant is going to eventually be too high to continue purchasing and, eventually, there will be no more available. 

AC units that are having some minor difficulties but use R-22 should be replaced. The costs of repairing them combined with the increasing costs of parts and R-22 refrigerant will soon not be worth it. Investing in a new system now is best.


Perhaps you first bought your AC when you had a tight budget and you were looking for something that would work for cheap. If you bought an AC that was too small for your house, then it’s probably overworked. When your AC has to work especially hard to cool your home, it will need extra maintenance and eventually need replacing earlier on.

If you know your AC is too small to cool your home efficiently and you’re regularly paying for repairs, it’s likely time to replace it and upgrade to an AC that’s the right size for your home.


Knowing when to replace your AC and when to continue repairing it can be a bit of a blurry line, but there are a few signs that point towards replacement that you can be sure to trust. If you’re still unsure, though, talk to our HVAC experts, and we’ll help point you in the right direction