Repair or Replace
air conditioner

Repair or Replace?

This is always a difficult a decision. On one hand you don't want to spend money on a new system, but on the other hand, you don't want to throw good money after bad. Which way should you go? It really boils down to the condition and age of the heating and air conditioning system.

If you have been keeping your equipment properly maintained by a licensed heating and air conditioning technician, then perhaps the current repair is isolated to a single, simple problem and not indicative of a major or potentially recurring issue. In this case it might make sense to repair and fix the problem. However, with any equipment it is important to consider its efficiency and the impact that wear and tear has on that efficiency and on your monthly gas electric bill.

Importance of Efficiency

Have you ever wondered how efficient your furnace is?  How do we measure the bang we are getting for our buck?  AFUE ratings provide the easiest and the most common measure for knowing a furnace’s efficiency.

If a furnace has a 78% rating, then 78% of the fuel will heat your home, while the other 22% is lost.  As of 1992, the US Department of energy requires that all furnaces have at least a 78% AFUE rating.  This makes the AFUE rating very important for compliance purposes as well as for the budget conscious household.  This rating will not tell you how much electricity is used, but only how efficient that use is.  To find out how much energy your furnace uses, refer to the Energy Star rating.

When selecting a furnace for your home, AFUE ratings should be balanced against energy use and the heating needs of your home and outside environment.  It is always best to seek professional advice to meet these needs and insure that you have all of your bases covered.

A qualified technician from Home Comfort Experts can provide you with excellent advice on how to balance your energy needs with energy efficiency to get the most out of your heating system.


The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rates the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. A unit somewhere around 10 years old would probably have been an 8 SEER unit at time of purchase. Over time this unit will wear down and operate somewhere around the 5-6 SEER level. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency of the unit. In 2006 the minimum SEER rating for an Air Conditioning unit was raised to 13 SEER. Upgrading to a newer Air Conditioning unit is surprisingly affordable based on the efficiency level of modern equipment. The money saved on your electric bill from upgrading will pay for the unit itself. So transitioning from an 8 SEER unit to a new 18 SEER unit will allow better performance at your current budget.

Should I Finance?

Monthly finance charges never sound like a good thing. What if there was a way to stick with your current budget and have a brand new heating and A/C system? Well using a higher efficient unit this is a very real possibility. The amount of savings generated from your lower monthly utility bill could very well take care of any finance charge. Imagine - a more comfortable house, with a better unit, at your current budget.

It All Adds Up

When your furnace and A/C unit starts giving you trouble, the air conditioning contractor is usually your first call. In some cases, electing to proceed with a repair makes sense. However, even in this case, the system might be working, but you are left with the same outdated inefficient unit that can cost you money day-in and day-out as normal wear and tear reduces operational efficiency. So not only did you spend money on the repair, but you are also accumulating higher utility bills. A new unit produces cooler air, with less energy. Less energy means a lower utility bill which means you could be paying for a new unit, rather than life support for your old one.

Doing your part in Going Green

Using a higher SEER unit saves energy. Saving energy saves the environment. Using technologies such as the eco friendly R410A refrigerant will also minimize the overall environmental impact. Therefore, you can feel good about saving both the planet and money on your energy bill with your new air conditioner.