Repair or Replace? How to Decide if a New Air Conditioning Installation is Right for You

This is the constant question in the minds of homeowners who have an older air conditioning system. Is it better to repair it, or replace it with a new air conditioning installation?

Replacing HVAC system with new installation

Age of the Air Conditioner

The average life expectancy for an air conditioning system is somewhere between 15 and 20 years. So, if your unit is older than that, replacing it might be the best option.

Cost of Repair

It is never a bad idea when getting a quote for an air conditioning repair, to also get a quote on the cost of a new A/C installation. If the cost of the repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new system, it probably is a good time to replace it.

Another common calculation used to determine if you should repair or replace the unit is the $5000 rule. You apply this rule by multiplying the cost of the repair by the age of your air conditioning system. If it equals more than $5000, (since a new air conditioning installation starts around this cost) you should replace it.

Efficiency of the Current Air Conditioning Unit

Look at your current air conditioner’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). This number tells you how efficient your air conditioning system is. Typically, the air conditioner’s efficiency tends to decline over time as well. New A/C systems have efficiency ratings anywhere from 14 to 25. A vast improvement over the average SEER of A/C units installed 15 to 20 years ago. A SEER rating that is just a little higher than the rating of your current system can amount to tremendous energy efficiency savings. These alone might pay the cost for the air conditioning replacement in just a few years.

Are You Considering Replacing Your Home Heating System as well?

Installing systems that are designed to use the same ductwork and resources tend to be more efficient and run better in the long run. A solution such as a new heat pump installation, which functions as both a cooling and heating system replacement, might be even better.

Are There Rebates and Financing Incentives Offered?

Right now, the State of Massachusetts is offering rebates up to $2750 if you upgrade your current air conditioning system to a new energy-efficient hybrid HVAC system such as a Mitsubishi heat pump. The older your system, the higher the rebate. The energy cost reductions due to improved efficiency and the Mass Save Rebate takes a lot of the sting out of purchasing a new HVAC system.

The Home MVP Program is a program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MassDOER) that provides 0% interest financing for as long as 7 years for residents making energy-saving improvements to their homes.

Need Help with Repairing or Replacing Your HVAC System Decision?

Give us a call at (978) 296-5251, fill out our easy contact form, or send an email to to get a free, no-obligation estimate on a new energy-efficient HVAC installation for your home or office. Our HVAC specialists can assess your situation and come up with the best solution for your situation.