Repair vs. Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit

It’s quite easy to have an HVAC system installed in your home and then leave it alone as it does its job without any issue. However, once problems start to arise, that’s when most people scramble to find a solution. Just like any other piece of machinery, proper maintenance is important to keep your home’s heating and cooling systems running in excellent condition. But now the question is, do you call for air conditioning repair or do you go ahead and replace the whole system entirely?

There’s a lot to consider when deciding between repairs or replacement, but we’ll narrow it down to help you arrive at the best possible decision.

The Replacement Rule

Air conditioning repair technicians get asked often about whether a unit needs to be replaced or can it survive with only repairs, and one way to determine this quickly is with the Replacement Rule. Multiply the age of your air conditioner with the amount it costs to repair it. If the answer is $5,000 or more, then a replacement is a more viable option.

For example, a 5-year old unit will need repairs costing $400 total. That product of those two numbers is $2,000, which means getting repairs is still a reasonable option.

Energy Efficiency

The Replacement Rule is only a quick way to know whether you need an air conditioning repair or replacement, without too many details factored in. When making a decision, it’s also important to consider your own plans for your home. If you’re looking to save some money with a more energy-efficient unit anyway, and your old one has finally had its final breath, then replacing the unit will be the more beneficial choice.


You should always consult with an air conditioning repair professional before choosing to repair or replace. There are issues that could be a symptom of a much larger problem that only an expert can determine, and it’s never a bad idea to have someone come and inspect your unit before jumping the gun on a decision.

We Can Help You Decide at Cardinal Heating and Air Conditioning

The decision to replace a unit entirely must be given a lot of consideration, and our experienced technicians of Cardinal Heating and Air Conditioning can help you arrive at the best possible outcome. Give us a call at (425) 296-2097 to schedule a service or get a free estimate. Our services are available in the Greater Seattle Area.