The Sunk Cost Fallacy is the source of many air conditioning repair bills throughout the Phoenix area. The “sunk cost” of something is money already invested, as in the thousands you spent on your central air conditioner oh-so-many years ago.
Now, even though your HVAC contractor is suggesting your HVAC replacement cost will be lower than future repairs, you feel bound by the past investment to spend more keeping it going.
At Day & Night Air, we have some recommendations on how you should evaluate HVAC replacement vs. repair.
Phoenix homeowners tend to dwell on the $5,000-plus typically spent on central air conditioning installation (according to Home Advisor), but fail to consider the three or four repair visits an older cooling system may need in a season. They view these repair costs as ways of saving money, rather than as continuing to sink more money into a failing system gobbling up more of their budget.
Instead of feeding an ever-hungrier, older and less efficient system, our neighbors throughout the Phoenix area should consider the benefits of replacement. Repair costs are only reasonable investments in some cases; in many circumstances, replacement is a money-wise choice.
Generally speaking, if your system is less than 10 years old, invest in annual service and repair. When, however, a major element in your central air conditioning system fails, it’s often best to replace the entire system.
Split systems entice homeowners to try to replace either the outside compressor and condenser, or the inside evaporator, but not both. This is a mistake, as the entire system has to be balanced. A more modern, efficient compressor can wreak havoc with the older, less efficient evaporator and air handler inside.
Deep-media filters, permanent filters, and programmable thermostats are all worthwhile accessories to your central air conditioner. These can be repaired for a while, but replacement is generally a good idea if you are calling your local HVAC contractor more than once a season for issues stemming from these parts.
They are smaller components, so you have invested less in them, and they can be changed out as better models (WiFi thermostats, for example) become available.
If your Phoenix home’s system is a decade old, replacement is a much better course of action than frequent repair. Systems available now are far more energy efficient than those of 10 years ago, so you will recoup costs through lower cooling bills by replacing your 12 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) system with an 18 SEER central air conditioner. You may even be eligible for rebates.
To receive an accurate air conditioner replacement cost estimate, please contact us at Day & Night Air. We can keep your unit running or advise on the optimum time to replace your system.