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How Often Should I Have to Repair My HVAC System?

A heating/cooling vent register on the wall of a home, with open/close lever

Your AC should be serviced at least once a year. In 2022, an AC tune-up cost up to $200 on average, according to Angi. It allows for smaller issues to be repaired, avoiding more serious problems and high repair costs. You might only need one or two extensive HVAC repairs in a system’s lifespan.

Repairs can set you back thousands of dollars. You won’t need them too often if you service your AC in the spring and furnace in the fall; the system will then be able to handle times of peak demand. But how often is too often when it comes to big repairs?

A Simple Formula For Deciding to Repair an HVAC Unit

Weighing the choice of another repair over replacing the system isn’t just guesswork. In the HVAC industry, the general formula is to multiply the unit’s age by what repairs will cost. This means if the unit is 10 years old and the cost of repairs is $800, that equals $8,000. Most HVAC technicians will recommend replacement if the total exceeds $5,000.

However, there’s no formula for how often you should need an HVAC repair. A well-maintained system shouldn’t need major repairs for some time. But an occasional repair isn’t out of the question as it ages. There are more factors than one to consider. For example, if the system is less than five years old and is performing well overall, it should be repaired instead of replaced.

Other Factors to Consider

Factors that help determine when and if an AC system should be repaired include:

  • Age: Many in the HVAC industry say to consider replacing an AC that’s older than 10 years and a furnace that’s older than 15 years. That’s not a must if it’s working well. But if you’re facing major repairs, a replacement can be the more cost-effective alternative.
  • Safety: System issues can present fire, carbon monoxide, and other hazards in addition to problems with comfort and air quality. Replacing a malfunctioning AC in this case will improve the safety of your entire household.
  • Technology: Recent years have seen advancements in HVAC technology that have improved efficiency and performance. Variable-speed systems, zoning, smart thermostats, monitoring sensors, and air purification components often make a new AC a wiser investment than spending on frequent repairs.

More About Annual Tune-Ups

Your HVAC system should be serviced in the spring and fall—the earlier the better. Repair technicians are busy during summer and winter, so you’d probably wait longer for service by requesting a tune-up then. And if you need repairs, it could take more time for the crew to get to your home, and to order and wait for new parts. 

Also, most experts don’t recommend servicing an air conditioner in winter because this requires running it. Since oil thickens in colder temperatures and won’t circulate effectively, this can cause damage.

During a tune-up, a technician will visually inspect your entire HVAC system. They’ll clean dust, dirt, and debris from outdoor and indoor components. Other tasks include checking the condensate pump, cleaning it if necessary, testing the thermostat, lubricating moving parts, and changing the air filter.

Signs that HVAC Replacement Is a Good Idea

It’s not worth it to repair an HVAC system if:

  • Energy Bills Are High: If your electric bill continues to increase without any change in usage, your HVAC system is burning more energy to do the same work.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you’ve had at least 3 repairs or more in the last 3 years, you’ll need more again soon; replacing the unit will most likely avoid additional repair costs.
  • Discomfort: When some rooms are warm and others cold, your home is humid, and the air feels stuffy, the HVAC unit may not be keeping up with demand.

Call Waldrop for an HVAC Repair Consultation

Maintenance and the occasional repair can extend your HVAC system’s lifespan. However, there are some circumstances in which it’s better to consider replacing it. At Waldrop, our NATE-certified technicians will evaluate your system twice a year or when you think something isn’t working. They can fix any issue right or recommend a replacement. Join our Family Maintenance Plan for priority HVAC service, biannual tune-ups, discounts on repairs, and more. 

To schedule your appointment, contact us online or call 864-536-0887 today.

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Greenville, SC

Five stars

Waldrop has taken care of our HVAC since our house was built (2006). We get maintenance twice a year – spring and fall. This year, Kevin suggested the Phenomenal Aire unit. It cleans the air

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Marietta, SC

Five stars

Had the best experience with Waldrop, we will forever be in their debt. Not only the most professional group of men but the most honest, stand by your word company! I would recommend Waldrop to

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Five stars

A friend recommended Waldrop after he had a visit last week. Our A/C was not cooling as well as it should, and the Split “Smart” thermostat was doing crazy things on the first and 2nd


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