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What’s the 50% Rule for Air Conditioning Replacement?

July 10th, 2023 | 2 min read

By admin

You run into some AC problems, so you call for repairs. It all seems pretty standard, until you get hit with a substantial bill. You’ve had repairs before and it was never this high, so what gives?

It’s a signal flare coming from your air conditioner. It means air conditioning repair in Hood River may not be enough to remedy the problem–you might need a full replacement. We’ll cover all the reasons behind the 50% rule and help you figure out whether or not you need to replace your air conditioner.

The Basics of the 50% Rule

Your air conditioner repairs are high, but how high are they? The 50% rule states that when a single repair bill equals half or more than the cost of a brand new unit, it’s time to just replace it.

The reason why? This isn’t the last bit of trouble that your air conditioner is going to give you, and you know it. The next repair bill won’t magically be cheap, and with all that wear and tear, the next repair could come faster than you think.

Eventually, Wear and Tear Takes Hold

Wear and tear accounts for all the little ways that something is used and breaks down over time. Yes, you can replace faulty wiring or a bad blower motor in your air conditioner, but wear and tear mostly accounts for general degradation of your entire unit.

Even with a few new components in your AC, how much will the other worn-down pieces contribute to degradation over time? It’s hard to tell, but we can categorize that as wear and tear.

It’s impossible for any technician to replicate the factory conditions that your AC was built in during a repair. Because conditions can’t be textbook perfect, repairs can’t 100% rejuvenate all the life in your AC. Eventually, it wears down no matter what–your repair and maintenance schedule just determines how fast (and expensive) that is.

Past 10 Years, You Need to Start Saving 

The average air conditioner lasts for 10-15 years. That’s a big five-year window, but it’s there for a reason, and it’s because it’s impossible to account for every possible little thing that happened in the span of those first ten years.

Assuming that your air conditioner begins giving you trouble and higher repair bills around the ten-year mark, it’s time to start saving for a replacement. It’s inevitable, and if you’re in the lucky few percent who still have that unit after 15 years, it just means you’ll be ready for when it eventually fails.

Now it’s Up to You

Your air conditioner might have a few more years in it… but is that with the price you were just quoted for repairs? If you knew that only bought you two more years of service, is it worth it?

It’s a big decision and we know it’s not taken lightly. Do your due diligence and figure out what works for you, and be sure to reach out to us to help you along in the process.

Contact A&E Plumbing, Heating and Air today to schedule your AC repair or replacement as soon as possible.