Do You Need a New AC System?

With the coming of fall comes a reduced need for your air conditioner, which has likely been running on a daily basis for months on end. If your system is older or has been experiencing problems this summer, it’s time to make a serious assessment of your system and determine if you need to replace it with a new one.

Fall makes the perfect time to determine whether your air conditioner has run its course, because you have all winter to plan for a replacement session. You can conduct the operation at a time that is convenient to you without having to worry about going without an air conditioner, and without having to shift around any other events in your life to accommodate it.

The question then becomes whether you need a new AC system or whether your existing system can continue as it has for at least another summer or two. Only the homeowner can answer that question, for only they are familiar with the specifics of the unit (along with a qualified technician). However, there are some telltale signs that can help you make that determination.


Many air conditioners come with a warranty, which covers the cost of the original components if they break down before the warranty has expired. In most cases, if your system is still under warranty, you should keep it instead of replacing it, since the cost of any significant repairs will be heavily reduced.

Indeed, even if the warranty has expired, the cost of repairs might be small enough to make repairs the better option than replacement. (Regular maintenance sessions throughout your air conditioner’s life can help curtail this process and reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns as the air conditioner becomes older.) But when the warranty has expired and the associated costs become larger than you feel the system it worth, the combination is enough to make a replacement worthwhile.

The next question becomes “what constitutes excessive costs?”


There are two basic types of costs which – combined with an expired warranty – should be enough to merit serious consideration of a replacement.

  1. Repair Costs. Repair costs tend to be more common at the end of the summer, and if you experience a problem that costs more to fix than you feel the system is worth, the money might be better spent investing in a new system. Alternately, there may be multiple repairs in a short amount of time (say, more than two in a given twelve-month period) which may not cost excessively in and of themselves, but suggest a system that is failing on multiple levels.
  2. Monthly Costs. Older systems tend to be less efficient systems, which means they will cost an increasing amount to run on a monthly basis. This summer probably gave you an excellent idea of the costs involved. If they’re more than you’re willing to pay, a new (and more efficient) system may be the perfect solution to the problem.

If you need a new air conditioner in the Lake Oswego, OR area, call the pros at Western Heating & Cooling immediately!