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Should I Repair or Replace My AC?

As the heat of summer approaches, reliable AC is essential for keeping your Michigan home cool and comfortable. That said, if your AC is driving up energy bills, breaking down, or failing to keep up with your thermostat settings, you might be wondering if you should upgrade your system.

Investing in a new AC can be an overwhelming decision– we know. So, to help you make the best choice possible, let’s explore:

  • When to repair your AC
  • When to replace your AC

Deciding whether to repair or replace your AC system requires careful consideration of various factors, including the age of the unit, repair costs, energy efficiency, frequency of repairs, and more. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at each factor and give you the information you need to make a well-informed decision.


Rather speak with trusted AC professionals?

Whether you need a speedy AC repair or a comprehensive replacement, Thornton & Grooms is here to provide honest and expert recommendations. All of our new installation estimates are free, and we’ll share at least 3 system options for you to choose from. We can even review financing options and help you source HVAC rebates. Call us at (248) 644-7810 or schedule an appointment online today.

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When to Repair Your AC

Oftentimes, a simple repair is all it takes to fix a broken AC. Usually, repairs are most effective for units that are younger than 10 years. There are two main situations in which repairs are the best choice: when they're minor and when you have warranties.

Repairs Are Minor

If your AC has problems, the first thing you should do is check how extensive the issue is. Some issues, like clogged air filters, thermostat calibrations, and condensate drain cleanings, are fairly minor and can be repaired within the same day. However, if you need a major part replacement (e.g. the compressor, control board, expansion valve, or condenser coil) it may require significant time, expense, and effort that’s just not worth it.

As a general rule of thumb, if the repair costs reach or surpass 50% of the price of a new unit, it may be wiser to consider a replacement. Rather than sinking more money into an aging system that’s likely to present more problems in the future, you’ll enjoy greater energy savings and improved performance. Not to mention peace of mind, knowing your AC won’t break down on you in the middle of summer.

You Have a Valid Parts Warranty

Before scheduling an AC repair, it's always a good idea to check your warranties. When you purchase an AC, the manufacturer will provide warranties for different parts. If a certain part breaks down, the manufacturer may help cover costs, provided the warranty is valid. Most AC parts warranties last from five to ten years, so if you’re still under warranty and you need a repair that’s covered, you’re probably better off getting a repair. However, if your warranty has expired (or was unknowingly voided) you’ll end up paying out-of-pocket for repair costs, which can sway your decision.

At Thornton & Grooms, we’ll always check to see if you have any valid parts and labor warranties. We also offer a one-year parts and labor warranty for every AC repair, along with our 5-star service guarantee.

When to Replace Your AC

Depending on the problem, you might be better off with an AC replacement. Here are some situations in which a replacement is the best choice.

Your AC Is Too Old

With regular AC maintenance, most ACs will last for about 15 years. If your AC is over 10 years old and experiencing problems, though, it's probably best to get a new unit. Newer models are often more energy-efficient, quieter, and equipped with advanced features.

Your AC Constantly Needs Repairs

While an occasional repair here or there is normal, constant repairs are a sign that the unit’s overall condition is deteriorating. Frequent breakdowns can be frustrating, time-consuming, and may lead to discomfort during hot weather. In such instances, replacing the AC system can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have a reliable and efficient unit that is less likely to experience recurring issues. Plus, a new system can help to lower your long-term costs by saving on energy costs and reducing your overall repair needs.

Your Energy Bills Are Very High

Speaking of costs, make sure you're keeping an eye on your energy bills. A sudden increase suggests there's a problem with your system’s efficiency. Older AC units tend to be less energy-efficient compared to newer models. So your AC ages, it can struggle to maintain your cooling needs. To meet your demands, it will consume more energy than usual. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient system can lead to significant savings on your utility bills over time.

Poor Cooling Comfort

The final sign to look out for is comfort. A quality air conditioner should be keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the warm months. If your air conditioner is failing to meet your needs, it might be too small for your home. In these cases, the best solution is replacing the current unit with a larger, stronger one.

If you intend to stay in your current residence for several more years, investing in a new AC system can enhance your overall comfort and potentially increase the value of your property.


For honest and trustworthy AC repairs and installations, call Thornton & Grooms.

Need some help deciding whether to invest in AC repairs or get a system replacement? Call Thornton & Grooms at (248) 644-7810 and our experts will be happy to assist you. Since 1937, we’ve stayed committed to top-notch quality service, and we’re proud to offer some of the best guarantees in the industry. This means providing comprehensive, free estimates on new installations, accurate workmanship, and honest advice that serves your best interest only.

Schedule service below and see why over eight thousand Detroit Metro homeowners rate us 5 stars.

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