Deciding to Repair or Replace an Air Conditioner – Part 2
As discussed in Part 1, summer will be soon arriving, and it may be time to decide to repair or replace your faulty Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. Part 2 will cover refrigerants and other factors to consider. Remember to consult with an experienced and licensed electrician before starting this project.
When an A/C unit needs more refrigerant, this is a strong indication of a coolant leak. Filling up your unit with R-22 refrigerant, also called Freon, may cost $40 to $175 per pound, with the service call included. Expert HVAC technicians estimate that repairing a leak and adding refrigerant may cost between $500 and $1,000.
An R-22 A/C unit that is leaking should be replaced. After the development of a leak, the air conditioner’s compressor, which can cost up to $2,000 to replace, will eventually stop working. The cost of repairing a leak, adding refrigerant, and replacing the compressor can equal the cost of a brand new, entry-level unit.
Additionally the cost of R-22 refrigerant has risen dramatically the past few years because it is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2010, HVAC makers stopped producing R-22 units while the manufacturing of R-22 refrigerant will end by 2020. The EPA has approved R-410A as a replacement due to its improved environmental qualities. As a result of shrinking supply, the cost of R-22 refrigerant will gradually increase.
Another factor in determing whether to replace your unit is whether or not your utility bills are increasing during the year. The EPA estimates that a new, energy-efficient HVAC unit, which can cost around $3,500-$7,000, will result in annual savings up to 20%. You should also evaluate the effectiveness of your HVAC’s cooling abilities during a heat wave. Professionals advise against replacing your existing unit if it does not have leaks and if your utility bills are reasonable.
Electrical Peace of Mind
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