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August 14, 2018

AC Repair vs. AC Replacement – Advice from Milwaukee HVAC Pros

When To Replace Air ConditionerYou have an air conditioner that is older than 10 years. It has needed some repairs in the past, and now it’s getting to the point where you wonder if it makes more financial sense to spend the money on air conditioning repair services yet again, or throw in the towel and invest in our professional Milwaukee air conditioner replacement services. At Capital Heating & Cooling, our Milwaukee metro-based HVAC pros see our customers struggle with these decisions every day. So, we created this guide to help you make an informed decision on when to replace your air conditioner and when to simply repair it to save you money in the long run.

Here are some HVAC industry rules of thumb that can help make it easier to make the smartest decision:


The $5,000 Rule

First, multiply the age of your air conditioner by the amount of your most recent repair bill. If this results in a number less than $5,000, AC repair likely the best way to go!

Your air conditioner is 12 years old. Your last repair was $270. 12 x 270 = $3,240. Conclusion: Go ahead and repair it.

3 AC Repairs in 3 Years

Three air conditioning repairs over the course of three years is a red flag. This implies a larger issue that a fourth repair might not address fully. Now your air conditioner is starting to cost you every year. Parts are getting old and failing and it’s only a matter of time before something very expensive is going to break or need replacing. Seriously consider an AC replacement.

Schedule a free Milwaukee AC Replacement Consultation now!

Extra High Energy Bills

If your energy bills remain extremely high after a repair, that’s another major warning sign that the overall health of your system is ailing. The longer you wait to replace your AC, the longer it continues to nickel and dime you to death.  

Post-AC Repair Freon Leaks

Unfortunately, refrigerant leaks are very difficult to locate and repair. If you’ve had multiple AC repair attempts and you’re still refilling it once or twice a season, refilling it yet again will not solve the systemic issues with your AC. Freon is very expensive and it won’t take long to spend up to $500 per season just to keep refilling your refrigerant.


Let’s say you have a typical 3-ton air conditioning unit that is putting out warm air because it is low on refrigerant. It takes about four pounds of refrigerant, so let’s assume you at least three to top it off. Three pounds of refrigerant x 3 (ton unit) = 9 pounds of refrigerant needed.

9 pounds of refrigerant times the $23.33 per pound = $209.97 for a complete fill up of your unit. A recharge might last all summer, or you may need to refill it a again halfway through the season. It all depends on how big the leak is.

The bottom line is, the refrigerant is a closed system that should never need refilling. If your Freon is low, you have a leak. It may be best to consider an air conditioner replacement! If you’d like a little guidance on choosing a new system, we’ve created a helpful video.

Watch this video:  How to choose a new AC system.


We hope these air conditioner tips help you make an informed decision on when to replace your HVAC system the next time you need air conditioner repair. If you are considering purchasing a new air conditioner in Milwaukee, you can schedule a free AC replacement consultation and someone will come to your home and give you an estimate of what it would cost if you decide to replace your system. Plus, we have financing options to help make a new system fit into your budget.

If you have questions or need to schedule a free AC replacement consultation contact us online or call 262.735.5548.


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