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AC Repair vs. Replacement

One of the most common questions we get here at John Nugent & Sons from our customers in Fairfax, Arlington, Centreville, Reston, and throughout Northern VA is, “Do I need to repair or replace my air conditioning unit?” This is an important question as we approach the cooling season—especially since both repairing and replacing an AC unit can be costly.

There are a few things you should consider when trying to decide whether it’s best to repair or replace your AC system:

Unit Age

How old is your AC unit? Most units last between eight and 12 years—after that point, they become very expensive to repair and break down frequently. Older units may require parts that have been discontinued, which often make these parts very expensive to obtain. If you did not schedule regular AC maintenance over the years, we recommend you schedule AC replacement with us—not only will repairs be costlier over time, but you and your family are missing out on a more comfortable home by using an inefficient unit.

If your unit is just a few years old and has been pretty trouble-free but has recently displayed minor trouble signs, AC repair is the smart, cost-effective option.

Current Condition

What is the current condition of your AC unit? Is your AC unit made by a quality brand? How often does it experience breakdowns? Does it blow warm or lukewarm air? Does the unit take a particularly long time to cool your home? Are certain parts of your Northern VA home cooler than other parts, causing an uncomfortable living environment?

If your unit breaks down frequently, takes a long time to cool your home, or is made by an inferior brand—consider AC replacement as an option.


If you decide to repair an old AC unit, it will still have the same efficiency it was rated for when it was manufactured. Older units are far less efficient than newer ones due to improvements in technology, as well as tighter energy standards implemented by the government.

AC units are rated by SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings, which is a measure of how efficient a given air conditioning system is.

You can reduce your energy costs this cooling season by switching over to an efficient AC unit. Also—keep in mind there is a fantastic AC tax credit available until Dec. 31, 2013 for the purchase and installation of an efficient unit.

Give us a call at 703-291-1926 to learn more about this tax credit and savings opportunity.

Still unsure whether you should repair or replace your AC unit? No problem—contact John Nugent & Sons today. We’ll send a licensed, qualified AC technician to inspect your unit and offer the best possible solution going forward.

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