Your AC isn’t working, and you find out that the compressor needs replacing. And, jeez it’s expensive!
So, should you just go ahead and replace the compressor, or should you get a new outside unit instead?
To make the best decision, go through these 3 steps:
Step 1: Ensure that the compressor actually needs replacing
Just so you don’t get ripped off, don’t assume that the first diagnosis is 100% accurate.
Some contractors jump the gun and say you have a bad compressor—but the problem may lie elsewhere.
Be sure you have a reputable Company to make the diagnosis. If you have reservations about the diagnosis, ask the technician to have a field supervisor to come out and confirm his findings. This should be done at no extra charge to you.
Step 2: Figure out if the compressor is under warranty
If the compressor is still under warranty, then you only have to pay for the cost of labor.
The technician should be able to tell you if the compressor is (or is not) still under warranty.
Once you know this, then...
Step 3: Compare cost of replacing the compressor with replacing the entire unit
If you have to pay for labor and the compressor, chances are you’re going to need to replace the entire outside unit because it would cost slightly more than replacing the compressor.
But if the compressor is still under warranty, replacing the compressor may be the best option, depending on the cost of labor and other important factors.
The more difficult decision
If you choose to replace the outside unit, you have another big decision to make: Will you also replace the indoor evaporator unit?
You see, an air conditioner’s inside and outside units are made for each other (it’s what they call a “matched system”).
So, if you replace the outside condenser unit, but not the evaporator unit, it causes some costly problems, like:
Premature failure— According to the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, “At worst, improperly matched indoor and outdoor units can create undue stress on your cooling system, resulting in an unnecessary, premature failure.”
Lowered efficiency of new unit— Assume you replace the outside unit with a 16 SEER unit and the inside unit is an old 8 SEER unit. Your new outside unit won’t run as efficiently as advertised because of the old inside unit. It’d be like tying a stallion to a donkey.
Possibility of no warranty— Since mismatched systems cause problems, some manufacturers won’t offer a warranty for the new condenser unit if you don’t also replace the evaporator unit.
We know. This is all confusing and hard to swallow all at once. (Especially, since so much money is on the line). We feel you and want to help.
Plus, right now we’re offering up to $1950 in instant rebates for a new qualified cooling system.
Ragsdale Heating, Plumbing and Air has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 20 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.