When should you convert to refrigerated air? The time may be now.

How to Decide Between a Cooling Repair or a Replacement

If you’re starting to hear threats of an A/C or evaporative cooler wearing out, then you have to be pondering the question: “Do I replace this old thing or do I try to get it fixed?” Here is what Longhorn Air suggests you consider when coming to the answer”

HVAC System Life Expectancy

Because of our extreme El Paso summers, most refrigerated air system lasts about 10-15 years. But, we are luckier with the furnace. They are warrantied for about 20 years and most will make it to that!

Evaporative coolers are built to last for about 5-10 years. Of course, many last longer. But, they are usually warrantied for only 5 years. The cost of replacing one is less than that of refrigerated air, but by the time you replace 3 or 4 at their cost plus labor, you are pretty close to what it would have cost you to install one HVAC system.

Life expectancy should help with your decision to repair or replace. You probably won’t want to put many hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars into a repair of broken A/C if it is at, or nearing, life expectancy, only for it to completely fail soon after. The money you will spend on repairs could be invested in a new system.



Newer HVAC systems are much higher in efficiency. Your old refrigerated air system is probably at only 10-12 SEER at best, especially if it is 7-10 years old or older. Today, standards require an efficiency of at least 14 SEER to meet code. With a higher SEER, homeowners enjoy more efficiency…meaning more in energy savings. Lower utility bills could potentially pay for your new air conditioning system if you replace it instead of repair a low efficiency one. Something to consider.


Tax Credits and Utility Rebates

It never hurts to get an estimate for a new system when you experience problems with your old one. Tax credits and utility company rebates offer free money on certain systems if you purchase and install new based on their recommendations. Ask our estimator what is available today in our area or at EnergyStar.gov. The extra research may help you with your decision between repairing and replacing.


When to Repair

Of course, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to replace a system. If you already have one that is high in efficiency and is less than 10 years old, a repair is probably recommended. While you may think your condenser is acting up and causing a cooling issue, it could be something as minor as a thermostat needing a replacement. That’s not a very big $repair$.

Most contractors are honest and will likely only recommend a repair if:

  • your system is not nearly a decade old
  • your system is still under warranty
  • you have a higher SEER system already
  • you haven’t needed any repairs in the past
  • you won’t be staying in the home much longer

There is one difference that must be stated about estimates for repairs or replacements because a lot of confusion is centered around this it seems. Repair estimates have a charge associated with them. With a repair, a trained technician is performing a service: diagnostics. Diagnosing a problem and preparing a repair estimate takes skill, training and time. This technician may recommend a replacement, however. If that is the case, that service would be applied to your purchase should you choose Longhorn Air for that. With a replacement estimate, generally a knowledgeable project manager can assess your system based on the information your provide as well as a quick check, some measurements and photos. Replacement estimate are free at Longhorn Air.


For repairs and replacements, Longhorn Air wants to be your HVAC contractor. To schedule an appointment for repair or estimate for replacement, call our office at 915-852-7334.