Rainforest Plumbing & Air

Page is Loading...

Is It Better To Repair My Old Air Conditioner Or Replace It With A New One?


With summer temps well on their way, you may be wondering if it’s better to repair my old air conditioner or replace it with a new one? This decision isn’t just about immediate comfort but also long-term efficiency and budget considerations. In this blog, our cooling experts will help navigate you through the factors you should consider when making the best choice for you and your home.

Posted by Spencer | April 18, 2024 | Reading Time:

In the throes of a sweltering Phoenix Valley summer, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is an air conditioner that's lost its cool. Yet, here you are, faced with a machine that's more whimper than whirlwind, and the pressing question: should I repair or replace my air conditioner?

This decision isn't just about immediate comfort but also long-term efficiency and budget considerations. In this blog, our cooling experts will help walk you through what to consider when making your choice.

Rainforest Plumbing & Air has been the Phoenix Valley’s trusted source for all air conditioning install, repair and maintenance services for over 25 years. Contact us today, we’re here to answer any and all questions you may have!

Age Matters

The age of your air conditioner is one of the most critical factors when deciding whether to repair or replace. The average lifespan of an AC unit is around 10-12 years. So if your unit is nearing or beyond this age, and you’re experiencing frequent breakdowns, replacement might be a wise choice.

On the flip side, if it's relatively new and the issue is minor, a repair could extend its life considerably at a fraction of the cost.

When To Consider A Repair

Repair costs can be significantly cheaper than a full replacement, so it’s a good idea to consider this route first. Here are a few things that can be easily handled by either yourself, or one of the cooling professionals at Rainforest Plumbing & Air.

DIY Repairs

Replacing Air Filters - One of the simplest and most effective DIY tasks is replacing the air filters. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, reducing efficiency and making the unit work harder, which could lead to more significant issues. Check your filters monthly and replace them as needed, typically every 30-90 days, depending on usage and filter type.

Cleaning the Coils - Over time, your AC’s evaporator and condenser coils can accumulate dirt, dust and debris, reducing efficiency and the ability to cool your home. Carefully cleaning these coils can improve your air conditioner's performance. Make sure to check your unit's manual for specific instructions to avoid damaging the coils.

Checking the Thermostat - Sometimes the problem isn't with the air conditioner itself but with the thermostat. Ensure it's set to cooling mode and the temperature setting is correct. If you have an older, mechanical thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat for better efficiency and control.

Unclogging the Drain Line - The AC unit's drain line can become clogged with algae, mold, and other debris, leading to water backup and potential damage to the unit or your home. You can usually clear the line by using a wet/dry vacuum or by flushing it with a mixture of water and vinegar.

Inspecting and Sealing Ductwork - Leaky ducts can significantly reduce your system's efficiency. Regularly inspect your ductwork for any signs of leaks, such as visible holes or tears, and ensure that all connections are secure.

Resetting the Unit - Sometimes, simply resetting the air conditioner can resolve your issue. This might help if the unit has become unresponsive or isn't cooling effectively.

Remember, always refer to the manufacturer's manual before attempting any repairs, and when in doubt, call in the professionals at Rainforest Plumbing & Air.

Call in The Pros

While many repair or maintenance tasks can be handled by homeowners, there are a few situations where it's important to call in a professional AC technician. Attempting to address these issues on your own can be dangerous and might lead to more significant problems or void warranties.

Refrigerant Leaks - If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it might have a leak. Handling refrigerant requires special certifications due to its hazardous nature and the environmental regulations surrounding its use. One of our experienced cooling technicians will locate the leak, repair it, and recharge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Electrical Issues - Electrical problems, such as issues with the capacitor, motor, or internal wiring, can be complex and dangerous. Our professionals have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose electrical issues safely and accurately, and ensure that our repairs adhere to safety standards.

Compressor Problems - The compressor is the heart of your AC system. Diagnosing and repairing compressor issues often involves handling refrigerant and intricate electrical testing, tasks that are best left to our skilled technicians.

Evaporator and Condenser Coil Replacement - Over time, the evaporator and condenser coils can wear out and become damaged. Replacing these coils involves delicate parts, and ensuring the system is correctly pressurized. This work should only be done by a certified professional.So give us a call today.

Ductwork Modifications - Modifying or repairing ductwork involves more than just sealing leaks. It requires an understanding of your system's airflow and capacity to ensure efficient operation. Our team can assess, modify and clean your ductwork to improve efficiency and comfort.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your AC, make Rainforest Plumbing & Air your first call. We're proud to offer 24/7 emergency air conditioner repair, and our friendly and knowledgeable team is backed by over 25 years experience.

Whether it’s a refrigerant leak, dirty vent, or a motor fix, we'll get your air conditioner back up and running quickly so you can get back to enjoying cool, high-quality air.

When To Consider A Replacement

Purchasing a new AC can be a daunting task, how do you know when it’s time? To help get you started, here are some things to consider.

1. Efficiency & Performance

Older AC units tend to be less efficient than their modern counterparts, leading to higher energy bills. If your energy costs are creeping up, upgrading to a new, energy-efficient model could save you money overtime.

Additionally, if your current unit isn’t cooling your home evenly or efficiently, a new unit could provide the comfort and performance you’ve been missing.

2. Environmental Considerations

Newer AC models are not only more energy-efficient but also environmentally friendly. If environmental impact is important to you, upgrading to a newer model can align with your values while also providing the cooling performance you need.

3. Frequency of Repairs

If your air conditioner has become a frequent fix project, it's a sign that it's on its last legs. Regular repairs can be frustrating and costly. So, if you find yourself on a first-name basis with one of our cooling technicians, consider investing in a new unit instead.

4. Consider Future Needs

Think about your long-term living situation. If you're planning to move, a repair might make more sense. However, if you're settled and planning to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, investing in a new AC can enhance your home comfort and value.

Rainforest Plumbing & Air offers quality air conditioner installation in Phoenix and throughout the valley, backed by over 25 years of experience. Our team installs a wide variety of AC units suitable for any home, and offer industry-leading financing options so you can get the model you need at a price you can afford.


The rule of thumb when it comes to cost comparisons is if the repair costs are 50% or more than the value of a new AC, replacement might be the smarter option.

It’s also important to keep in mind that new units offer warranties and fewer headaches, which adds value beyond the sticker price.

Whatever You Choose, Don’t Neglect Annual Maintenance

Comprehensive annual maintenance checks can help prevent future problems and extend the life of your AC unit. Our professionals will inspect the system thoroughly, perform necessary adjustments, and identify potential issues before they become major problems.

When it comes to AC tune-ups you can trust our team of experts.

Starting at only $89, you’ll get:

  • Air balancing
  • Comprehensive troubleshooting
  • Coil cleaning
  • Thorough Air Flow Inspection
  • Energy Efficiency Optimization
  • Indoor Air Quality Enhancement.

Contact us today to schedule your tune-up!

Join The Cabana Club!

Sit back and relax, we’ve got you covered!  With our exclusive membership program we offer priority service and peace of mind with annual AC inspections and tune-ups that improve the efficiency and longevity of your cooling system.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Guaranteed lowest price on parts and service.
  • Two hour priority service.
  • Zero after hours or holidays fees.
  • Annual water savings and air efficiency reports.
  • Extend equipment life.
  • Protect against unexpected failures and repairs.

Making the decision to repair or replace your air conditioner depends on a combination of factors, including age, cost, efficiency, and future needs.

Whichever route you choose, consult with the professional cooling technicians at Rainforest Plumbing & Air to get a thorough assessment of your current unit's condition and potential repair costs. This advice can help guide you to the best decision for comfort, efficiency, and financial sense.

Phone IconBook OnlineOpen Live Chat