One of the worst feelings is when an air conditioner breaks. The worst part about air conditioners is they always seem to break right about the start of air conditioning season. And while replacing an air conditioner can solve all these problems as well as add several years of confidence that this will not happen again, it may not be the most cost effective in the long term. And the opposite can be true; at what point is an air conditioner costlier to repair compared to replacing to a new system. Here is a discussion of whether air conditioner repair is more or less costly than an overhaul of the entire unit.
With the knowledge that an air conditioner unit should last about 10-15 years, it should be easy to say that most units older than 10 years are up for replacement. When considering whether to replace, consider how much life is left within a unit. If a unit is older than 10 years and runs into a repair, it may be worth replacing because that unit may only be a year or two away from the next repair. Consider how much the repair is compared to how much life is left in the current unit and realize a new unit should provide about 10 more years of repair-free cooling compared to a repair bill every year. Now with a newer unit, such as a 5-year-old unit, a repair may be worth the cost.If the unit can push 10 more years of cool air out of it then the repair is most likely worth it because of the lifespan to cost ratio.
In conclusion, the most important factor to consider in deciding about air conditioning repair or replacement is the age of the unit. Consider how much life is left in the unit, and that can be the deciding factor in whether to repair and squeeze the last bit of life out of the unit or replace and get a fresh unit with a whole life ahead of it.