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Air Conditioning Tune Up; Repair or Replace?

Tips on the best decision you can make after seasonal inspection results

At One Hour Heating and Air, we often get asked if seasonal inspections are really necessary, especially if the unit is under five years old.

Our answer is always the same whether the unit is five days, five weeks, five months, or 15 years old; yes!

It’s one of the reasons we’ve developed our comprehensive and cost-effective “Comfort Club”, which gives you worry-free maintenance and peace of mind all year round.

However, truly having confidence in your HVAC system’s health comes from what happens after the seasonal inspection. In most cases, seasonal inspections and tune ups are minor and inexpensive. Depending on where the outdoor units are placed and their age, you should have several years of routine inspections that turn up nothing out of the ordinary. Especially, if One Hour Heating and Air installed your system.

When our certified, skilled, and insured technicians come to your home, they will provide a comprehensive inspection that covers several items, such as:

  1. Condenser coil cleaning
  2. Electrical Connections tightening and cleaning
  3. Refrigerant levels checked
  4. Contacts & condensation lines checked
  5. Thermostat checked and calibrated

If you want to read more about what our seasonal inspection includes, click here.

After the inspection, our technician will consult with you on the next best step, if one is required. In many cases, an affordable Revitalization is all that’s needed. One Hour Heating and Air offers many spring and summer tune up options, promotions, and discounts that make keeping your system running strong possible on any budget.

We should mention here that along with having your One Hour professional out twice a year, changing the air filters in your home should be done quarterly (every three months) to keep the system running at peak performance and the air in your house at optimal quality.

When is it time to repair or replace your HVAC system?

No one ever wants to spend that amount of money and at One Hour Heating and Air, we have homes and families (and bills), too. We work with our customers to keep a system running safely and efficiently as long as possible.

Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Consider Replacement over Repair

1. Cost of the repair: seems like a no-brainer, right? There is actually a pretty simple metric to determine if it makes financial sense to replace a unit versus make another repair. Its age + cost = answer.

For example; if your system is over 10 years old and the repair will cost around 50% of its total value, replacement makes the most sense. If the system is six years old and the cost is 20% of the system’s value, it’s better to invest in the repair and perhaps stretch the system’s lifespan another couple years on the back end.

In other words, 12 years + $4,000 = replace OR 5 years + $850 = repair.

2. The system’s age; as in real estate, system longevity comes down to location, location, location. The average lifespan for HVAC in the United States is between 15 to 20 years. In hotter, humid regions, it may be less, around 10-12 years. If your unit is over 15 years old and has required “small” repairs more than two seasons in a row on previous seasonal service calls, you may want to consider replacing your system.

3. Maintenance history: this is a consideration if you inherited a system when you purchased your house. Did the seller provide maintenance records or contact information for the HVAC company that performed service checks over the years? You can also call One Hour Heating and Air to see if the system is in our database.

NOTE: Ensuring that the system is “matched” is also key. That means, the indoor and outdoor units were installed as “one” system and have been compatibly maintained over the years. If not, it means parts will wear out unevenly and performance will be negatively impacted as the years add up. We can certainly service and repair older systems, however, depending on the repair needed, you may want to cut your losses and invest in a system that will run strong in its entirety for the next couple decades. In about 50% of our service calls, we find repairs that could have been avoidable or minimized had routine, low-cost seasonal maintenance been performed regularly.

4. Running on Freon: if your system still runs on the refrigerant Freon, also known as R22 or HCFC-22, you will want to consider a new system sooner rather than later. Chances are older system lines will crack and leak Freon, causing you to need refrigerant “topped off” seasonally. Since Freon was officially phased out in the U.S. in January 2020, it’s not only more and more difficult to get, it’s very expensive. In the spring of 2021, the per-unit cost of Freon hovered at $150 with the average “top off” requiring 3-5 units. That’s roughly 10-15% of the unit’s value just in Freon every summer. This adds up to negative ROI very quickly on an older unit.

5. Moving or staying? if you’ve done the value calculation we described in #1 and you’re still right on the line, this could be the deciding factor. How long to you plan to stay in your current home? If you’re looking at another decade or more, you will want to benefit from the optimal comfort, value, and resale appeal of a new(er) system. If you are going to be hitting the market in a couple years or less, then you may want to invest just enough to keep the current system chugging along.

We realize it also boils down to this for 99% of customers; cost of a replacement unit.

Is it a sizable investment? Yes. Can we make it affordable? Yes!

We have developed strong relationships with many trusted lenders who know our value and understand our customers’ needs. We are also well-versed in finding the best combination of manufacturer’s incentives, rebates, and energy credits from local utility providers. We get the very best price possible before finding the most sensible financing solution for your monthly budget.

First things first however, schedule your seasonal maintenance call with One Hour Heating and Air today. We’ve been serving your neighbors in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, including Indian Trail, Concord, and Mooresville for decades.

Our affordable financing programs can match any budget to a high-performance, top-quality comfort system. If your system is relatively new, but needs a seasonal inspection and tune-up, our highly skilled technicians are standing by for all your central air needs. If we need to do a repair, we’ll waive the trip fee!

Visit www.onehourAC.com for our weekly and monthly specials. Call our 24/7 customer service line today 704-251-0610.