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Should You Replace Only the Outside Unit or Your Entire AC?


A conventional air conditioning system is composed of two parts: the condenser unit, which you’ll find outside, and the indoor blower and evaporator coil. When an air conditioning system fails, it may be that only one half of your air conditioning system really cannot go on—typically the outside unit. And it might seem like you could save money by replacing only the outdoor unit.

The Trouble With Replacing Only the Outside Unit

However, we often recommend that homeowners replace both the inside and the outside portions of their air conditioning systems. A new system is designed to have matching indoor and outdoor components to run together in the most optimal way. Here’s why we advise that you replace the entire system when one half goes bad.

  • Matching components operate more smoothly. But with mismatched indoor and outdoor units, the system may struggle more frequently and need repairs more often.
  • Your older indoor unit is bound to fail at some point anyway. If you replace only the outdoor unit of an older AC, the indoor portion is still bound to fail eventually as well. And replacing the whole system at once is much less expensive than replacing the two parts individually.
  • It’s more difficult to find older refrigerants when you experience leaks. R-22, the refrigerant commonly used with AC systems that are a couple of decades old, is no longer as easily available in order to protect our environment. It’s a lot of work for your technician to make a new outdoor unit work with R-22, and this refrigerant will soon be hard to find anyway. That means, if you have a leak in the future, few technicians may be able to help.
  • Warranties could become void without matching parts. If the inside and the outside parts don’t match one another, you might lose any warranty you could have had to protect your investment.

A quality technician will give you an honest assessment of the system, and if only one portion of the unit needs replacement, you should be given this option. However, we often also recommend replacing the whole unit—especially if it is over 10 or 15 years of age.

Call Air On Demand today for expert AC services in Miami, FL.