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Should I Repair or Replace My Central Air Conditioning System?

Beyond HVAC repairs and replaces central air systems in Milwaukee WI, Kenosha WI, Whitewater WI, Elkhorn WI, and throughout southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. We can help you decide if an older unit needs to be replaced, or if expert repair work can give it a few more years of efficient life.

Because central air conditioners are sizeable investments, homeowners are naturally hesitant to replace them until it’s absolutely necessary. If your A/C system is getting up in age, you may be wondering how long you should keep having it repaired before deciding to replace it.  Here are a few things to consider.

Air conditioning repair in Whitewater WI

25% rule

One way of looking at it says, if a current needed repair will cost you 25% or less of the price of a new system, go ahead and make the repair. Obviously, if it’s a $500 repair that will solve an efficiency or safety issue, you’re much better off making the repair. But what if the repair cost is edging up to that 25% marker – and you just made another expensive repair six months ago? And what if your central air conditioning system is already 12 years old?

In this case, it might be best to talk with one of our certified HVAC technicians and let us assess your system from top to bottom. We’ll take into account the age of the system, major repairs already performed and the performance you can expect from it across the next several years. It may be determined that even though a current repair will cost you less than 25% of a replacement, it might be better to heed the warning signs and opt for a new A/C system.

How long will you live in the home?

Another consideration is the number of years you expect to keep living in your home. If you’re planning a move in the next 18 months, another round of repairs to the unit probably is prudent. However, if you’re expecting to live the rest of your life in the home, and it’s clear that a new A/C system will be required soon, you may save yourself some money – and headaches – by having a new system installed.

AC professional in Elkhorn WI

Your costs to run the system

Older central air systems finally get to a point where they simply can’t provide the same energy efficiency they once did. In thinking about repair vs. replacement, consider how much more you’re paying for electricity now than you would with a new, highly efficient central air conditioner. Cooling bills stack up month after month, and you may find that while a needed repair comes in under the 25% line, when you factor in the cost to keep operating the unit, you’re still going to be losing a lot of money.

Ask the professionals

Deciding to repair or replace an old or faulty central air system can take time as you go over many mechanical and financial factors. Beyond HVAC is here to help you make a smart decision.


We perform regular repair work for our central air customers, and we also replace many old systems with powerful new Carrier-brand air conditioners. We want you to be able to keep your current system for as long as is reasonable, but we don’t want to see you continuing to pour money into repair projects that only bandage the problem rather than fix it perfectly.

If you’re not sure about what to do with your central air conditioning system, give us a call at (262) 758-6272. We’ll meet with you and assess your current system and energy needs and make a recommendation that will be best for you now and in the long run.