If you’re like most homeowners, your air conditioner becomes one of your most prized possessions when summer comes around. You may even have a few ingenious DIY tips to fix it should it fail. But when summer is at its peak, this cooling system is bound to overwork. So, when your air conditioner unit outside starts causing issues, you’re left with two choices: replacing the outdoor unit alone or the entire system. This article will help you decide what to do depending on several scenarios.
Can You Replace Just the Outside AC Unit?It’s possible to replace just the outdoor AC unit. However, you’re better off replacing both units, especially if you have an old AC system. Here’s why:
Old Indoor Units Do Not Work Well with New Outdoor UnitsIt’ll be a tall order to try and find a compatible outdoor unit if you have an old AC system. The latest AC units have been created with the environment in mind and use a refrigerant model called 410A. Older models use a refringent called R-22, which the government banned because of the environmental risks it poses.
You’ll Do More Harm Than GoodThere’s more to an optimally functioning AC system than refrigerant models. For example, the AC coils, valves, and SEER ratings must match. Mismatched components cause the system to use more energy than usual, raising your energy bill. Also, the units will wear out and lead to an early failure of your HVAC system.
You Could Void Your WarrantyA new air conditioner has a warranty with terms and conditions set by the manufacturer. This is a grace window for free repairs or replacements, provided you meet the criteria. Typically, your outdoor and indoor unit models must match. You’ll void your warranty if you replace just one.
When It’s Okay to Replace One Part of the SystemSo, how do you decide whether to repair or replace your air conditioning unit? Some instances make replacing only your outdoor or indoor unit a good idea. For example, you may still qualify for warranty coverage if your air conditioner is between 3 and 5 years old. If you’re lucky, the new AC outdoor unit can keep your system running for several years. Here are the steps you can follow:
Determine Your Warranty StatusYour warranty status could mean a world of difference in how much you spend on replacing your outdoor unit. But you need to know whether you’re still within the warranty period. To do this, check the metal panel in your outdoor unit for the model’s number. Use this number to search your warranty status from your manufacturer’s website.
Read Your System’s Terms and ConditionsMost systems come with a hard copy of the terms and conditions. You can quickly access them on your manufacturer’s website too. Find out what the terms dictate about your outdoor unit. If you’re still covered, you have a high chance of having it replaced pro bono without replacing the indoor system.
Reach Out to Your ManufacturerContact your manufacturer to start the claim process. The customer service team will also be happy to guide you through the process, and you’ll have the new parts shipped to you in a reasonable time. And because the new outdoor part will match the indoor unit, it’ll fix your air conditioner issues without causing more problems.
Things to Try if Warranty Cover is Not an OptionIf you’re not qualified for a warranty cover, you can pursue these avenues to get your unit up and running well again:
- Find an HVAC Technician
- Broken Compressor
- Electrical Issues
- Bad Capacitor
- Inadequate Power
- Contactor Failure
- Replace the Entire System
- Get an Expert Contractor
- Determine the Correct Unit Size
- Consider the SEER Rating