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Rule of 5,000: Knowing When AC Repairs Aren’t Enough

air-conditioning-recyclingThe Rule of 5,000. Sounds a bit intimidating, almost like something out of a science-fiction future. But it’s really a simple mathematical rule of thumb to help people determine when they should replace their air conditioning system. At a certain point, an air conditioner will be so old that continuing to pay to have it repaired each time it breaks down is throwing away money.

Although the “Rule of 5,000” isn’t always 100% accurate, it’s a good place to start thinking about whether you need to keep up with air conditioning repair in Apex, NC or arrange for a new AC system.

How the Rule of 5,000 Works

Don’t worry—when we said this was simple math, we meant it. All it takes is multiplication!

If Age of Air Conditioner X Price of Repair > 5000, then replace AC

If Age of Air Conditioner X Price of Repair ≤ 5000, then repair AC

Or, to put it into non-equation form: If you multiply the cost of a repair for the air conditioner by the number of years you’ve had the system, and the result is more than 5,000, it’s probably best to replace the AC rather than repair it. If under 5,000, repairs may still be worthwhile.

An example: You have an AC that’s 11 years old. It needs to have a repair the technician tells you will cost about $350. Since 11 X 300 = 3,850, you’re below 5,000 and the repair is probably a good choice.

Another example: Your AC is 16 years old and needs that same $350 repair. Since 16 X 350 = 5,600, you should think about a replacement.

This Isn’t Set in Stone, It’s a Guideline

Like any rule of thumb, the Rule of 5,000 isn’t an absolute. You shouldn’t use it in place of professional advice. In the above example, the 16-year-old air conditioner probably should be replaced no matter the cost of a repair, since when an AC gets past 15 years is usually the point where any repair indicates the system is ready to retire.

You also need to consider the estimate from the repair technician. If you’re dealing with an unlicensed technician, the repair estimate may be too high. This is why you must only call licensed HVAC professionals with a reputation for honesty when you have air conditioning service needs. You can’t make a good decision about whether to have a repair or not if you have poor information from people who don’t know what they’re doing, are dishonest, or both.

Our HVAC Experts Are Here to Help

If you think it’s time to apply the Rule of 5,000 to your broken air conditioner, call our team. We’ll give you an honest assessment of the system and provide an accurate price for the repairs. If you need more advice, we can help you with the choice that’s the best for your home, family, and budget. We have more than two decades of experience delivering the best in HVAC service to the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

Enjoy the Comfort You Deserve: Call Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for AC Help 24/7.

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