Repairing Air Conditioners: Can You Replace Just The Outdoor Unit

repairing air conditioners

It’s natural for Bay Area homeowners to wonder if replacing certain components on their existing A/C system could save them money. For instance, you may be curious if replacing the outdoor unit on your older model air conditioner is a good idea, and if it would result in cost savings. If your air conditioner is no longer working and you’re wondering whether to replace the entire system or only the outdoor unit, you’ll likely find that replacing only a certain component costs you more in the long-run.

Air conditioning systems consist of compatible components that are designed to work together. When you replace components in a piecemeal fashion, it can reduce efficiency and even result in malfunctions. In most cases, replacing the entire A/C system is more cost-effective.

Air conditioner components include the compressor, condenser, air handler, refrigerant coils, etc. Why is it so important to match components? There are several reasons.

  • New components are manufactured today to achieve higher SEER (seasonal energy-efficiency ratios) than older components.
  • New coils are more efficient than old ones, and are designed with spacing/grooves that are different from older coils. Because of this, new coils are incompatible with older ones, and combining the two can increase energy usage while reducing cooling capacity – it could also result in motor failure!
  • Enhanced control of refrigerant is a factor to consider with new units that include thermal expansion valves and that limit the movement of refrigerant to the compressor via a shut-off system – this could result in damage to older compressors.

Ultimately, mismatched components can result in reduced cooling capacity and operational efficiency, and nearly double the odds that the compressor on your system will break down in a relatively short time – usually within a year.

Should you replace only the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system? While it may seem like the cheapest thing to do at the time, introducing a new component to an old A/C system is simply asking for trouble – expensive trouble.

When it comes to repairing air conditioners, we’re the experts in the Bay Area. We want to help you stay comfortable, but we also want to help you save money!