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Should I Replace My Central Air Conditioner? A Phoenix Tech Answers

August 24, 2020

Here’s the short answer: If your AC is 10+ years old and you’re having issues with it, you should probably start to consider your replacement options.

Here’s the longer answer: It depends! As a general rule of thumb, you should consider replacing your AC system if….

  • It’s 10+ years old
  • Your compressor needs replacing
  • You’re facing frequent or expensive repairs

Below, we’ll break down each of these factors in more detail, so you can get a better idea of whether or not it’s time to replace your AC system. If you want a professional’s opinion, we’d be happy to take a look at your AC system and advise you on whether or not it’s time to replace it. Learn more about our AC installation services or

Sign #1: Your AC is 10+ years old

On average, AC systems are built to last about 15-20 years, but in the Arizona heat, AC systems usually last about 10-12 years. This has to do with a variety of reasons, but the main reason being that in very warm climates, like Arizona, your AC has to work harder and longer than it would in a more mild climate. If you want to learn more about why AC systems don’t last as long in Arizona, check out our blog here.

If your AC is 10+ years old and you’re noticing any one of the following:

  • Higher energy bills
  • Frequent repairs
  • Uneven cooling should replace your system. If you don’t replace it, you’re going to continue investing money in a dying system that will likely break down completely in the near future.

If your AC is 10+ years old BUT you haven’t had any issues with it recently, you should still consider replacing it. Even if you don’t think that you’re dealing with any of the issues above, the older your AC gets, the less efficiently it will run, which means over time your AC bills will increase and your AC will struggle to cool your home properly.

Our suggestion would be to have an AC tech provide you with an estimate now so that when you do need to replace your AC you have the information you need and you aren’t having to pay for an emergency, same-day installation.

Sign #2: Your compressor needs to be replaced

If a tech tells you that you need to replace your compressor, it’s probably a good idea to just replace your entire AC system. Why?

Well, a compressor is an extremely expensive part of your AC system (can cost up to $2,800+) and unless your AC is brand new (under 5 years old), it’s usually more cost-effective to replace your entire AC system than to replace your compressor.

If your AC system is newer, it’s extremely rare that the compressor would need to be replaced. And, if it does, the cost of your compressor may be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty. You can check coverage details by going to the manufacturer’s website and entering the serial number of your AC system.

Sign #3: Frequent or expensive repairs

If you’re having to repair your AC frequently or you need an AC repair that’s expensive (like the compressor replacement we mentioned above), the better option is typically to replace your AC system.

Frequent repairs can be a sign that multiple parts of your AC are starting to wear or break down, and that you need a new system. If you’re looking at more than 1-2 repairs per cooling season or an expensive repair, you should talk to an HVAC tech about whether it would be more cost-effective to repair or replace your system.

Ready to replace your AC? Contact Phoenix’s best: Patrick Riley

If you think you fall into any of the above categories and need to replace your AC system, we’re the team to call. We have years of experience helping Phoenix homeowners find the right AC solutions for their homes, and we’d be happy to help you too.

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By Ty Lindsay

Ty Lindsay is the Director of Field Operations at Patrick Riley | Isley’s and a 15-year veteran of the plumbing and HVAC trades. In 2010, Ty earned his Journeyman’s plumbing license. He became a Master Plumber five years later and earned his Journeyman HVAC technician’s license that same year. Ty’s breadth of knowledge in plumbing and HVAC includes both residential and commercial work. He’s been a loyal member of the Patrick Riley | Isley’s team since 2016.