Repair or Replace?

“My condenser is an older 10 SEER model.  At the first sign that it is going should I replace it?   When I replace the outside, is there a higher seer rated condenser unit that can be matched up to the inside unit or do I absolutely have to replace both at the same time when I go with a higher rated condenser unit?”   - (Richard from email.)

Condensers.  We can't tell you to automatically replace your condenser.  Here are some rules of thumb we use with older 10 SEER or less systems:

            Condensers under 10 yrs old:  Repair unless replacing with 16-23 SEER for efficiency and comfort    

Condensers 11-15 years old:  Repair up to $500 or replace with 14+ SEER systems.

Condensers 16+ years old - Replace

Evaporator Coils.  Manufacturers recommend that you replace the inside evaporator coil to match a new condenser.  If the evaporator coil is over 10 years old it should be replaced.  Even if the evaporator is rated for use with a higher efficiency condenser, evaporators oxidize over time and collect dirt deep inside the coil that significantly reduce the efficiency of the coil.  This dirt can only be cleaned by removing the coil and cleaning it with an acid base cleaner and re-installing it.  The cost of doing this is prohibitive for an older coil.  Cleaning in place with a self-rinsing cleaner is only effective for newer coils with superficial dirt. 

You may replace a defective evaporator coil without replacing the condenser or furnace.  Most new evaporator coils are compatible with the highest efficiency condensers as well as your older unit.  You will pay more to replace your system one component at a time.  The difference in replacing a complete system versus two or three component change outs is $600 - $1200.

Furnaces.  The furnace may remain but if it is the same age as the rest of the equipment you should replace it also.  If you choose to purchase two-stage air conditioning, the furnace should be changed to a variable stage unit.

Again, you will pay more to replace your furnace later.  The difference in replacing a complete system versus two or three component change outs is $600 - $1200. 

Conclusion.  We try to give sound advice so our customers can make informed decisions regarding their heating and air conditioning systems.  We want you to have the best system you can afford without having to spend more money later.  Our representatives will be happy to give you pricing on various brands, efficiencies, complete systems or components.  Ask about our financing programs.