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We participate in FPL’s Energy Savings Program. Ask us if you are eligible for a FPL rebate.

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Charlie:

Welcome to Comfort on Porpoise, sponsored by Dolphin Cooling and Heating who have been providing 24/7 Comfort on Porpoise since 1998.

Lauren:

Hey everybody, Lauren here with Dolphin Cooling. I actually have with me today our operations manager, who also happens to be my brother. And he’s going to share with us a little bit about looking at whether a system should be repaired or replaced and how to best make that decision with the information provided. So, Greg, thanks for being here with me today.

Greg:

Yes, absolutely.

Lauren:

Can you share with me a little bit about at what point would someone decide to look at both a repair cost versus a replacement cost? And what types of repairs would we typically be talking about if we’re looking at comparing the two?

Greg:

Yes. So usually when that happens, a system’s approaching the end of its life span, probably at say nine to 10 years where the warranty is about to expire. And in some cases the warranty has expired. So the system’s older than 10 years, then the manufacturer part warranty is gone on it. So for instance, say if your coil was to go, you’re probably looking at a 2,000, $3,000 repair, depending upon how expensive your coil is. And two, if your system’s an R-22 system, that’s the refrigerant they’re moving away from, that repair is going to be even more because if it is a coil or a compressor or something like that, it’s going to require new gas. So on top of the part, you’re going to have to include gas. 

Now if it’s 410, obviously it will be a little less on the gas, but still if you’re in that nine to ten-year range, more than likely some people like to see the repair, just so they know. And they like to see the estimate for the new one. And they usually decide to go with the new system, because at that point, when you’re investing two to three thousand dollars into a nine to 10-year-old system, so almost half of a brand new system and with a brand new system, you get a full 10-year manufacturer part warranty which will save you money. Yes, you’ll have to pay for labor or refrigerant or whatever the repair may be. In instances like it’s a motor repair, some customers do try to do that. 

If the system’s say nine years old and they have one year left of warranty, they’ll try to squeeze in that motor repair and hope the system will last another year or two if they get lucky. They’ll go that route, because depending upon the motors, they might be 800 to $1,500 repair. And some people just want to get it fixed for the time being and they’ll say, oh, when I come back next season, I’ll be looking at getting a new system, which is fine. It works for them. But definitely the major thing is when coils or compressors go on older systems, that’s definitely where you want to get the estimate for the repair and the new system. Just so you can kind of judge. And if a system’s out of warranty, those two repairs will be extremely expensive and for sure your best bet would be going with a new system on that.

Lauren:

So with those two repairs, would you say on average to have say an evaporator coil replaced or a compressor replaced as a system might still be under warranty, but approaching that nine/10-year mark, and obviously if out of warranty entirely on average, would those replacement costs run about a third to a half of like a full system replacement? 

Greg:

Yes, if it was out of warranty, for sure it would probably be half. Just for instance, if you had like a four-ton system, R-22, you got a leaking coil, easily that’s probably going to be 2000, $3,000 repair and four or five tons are in that range anywhere between five to 7,000. So in reality, you’ve already spent half of that on a repair that we tell people this, we can do the repairs happily if that’s what you want, but I’m just letting you know, if I do this repair and we put the coil in and tomorrow your motor or your compressor goes, you can’t be mad at me when I’ve told you upfront, hey, look, I’m just letting you know, this could happen. It’s an older system, you can make this repair, but something else more than likely will happen in the future. Just so you’re upfront with them and they know and if they’re fine with it, but that’s why we usually always recommend when it’s big repairs like that, it’s usually best to go with the new system. Because it will correct the problem and it’s a brand new system with the full 10-year manufacturer part warranty.

Lauren:

Okay. So would you say on average if customers do choose to do the repairs over replacement as the system is aging or out of warranty, that typically they end up being pushed into because another repair comes up doing the sale anyway. So they actually end up spending more money in the long run. 

Greg:

Yes, we’ve seen that before where people will be like, oh, well I just want to fix the compressor for now. And so they spend two grand or whatever it is to fix the compressor. And then a couple of weeks later they had something else goes and then they’re kind of stuck in that spot. Do I want to get a new system or do I want to keep throwing money at this? And usually customers in that spot, they’ll tend to say, okay, you know what, I’m going to get a new system. 

We really try to strive for, when it’s a situation like that, we really try to advise the customer to go with a new system because that is the most beneficial practice and the best solution for them, because then they’re not going to have to worry about, I just put this coil in, my compressor might go tomorrow. Everything’s new, full 10-year manufacturer warranty and it’s just a better option for a long-term solution.

Lauren:

So even though upfront the initial investment on the new system might be double, let’s say of the repair cost, but the reality is in the long run, they’d be saving money because with the new system, it’s likely probably more efficient, now they’ve got a 10-year manufacturer part warranty on it. And it’s brand new so it’s likely that they would have issues from it for a while.

Greg:

Exactly. Because before someone knows they can do repairs and they could spend five grand and think that they’re going to be all set, the systems all repaired, but something else might happen. Or if you have a leak somewhere or a line anything. And then at that point, you’ve almost put in a full system repair and now you have to then buy the new system. So, I mean, you’ve doubled your money into your AC that you realistically probably could have avoided.

Lauren:

Okay. So the bottom line is that the takeaway here for all of our listeners would really be if your system is aging and you’ve reached about that nine-year mark, probably the better solution in the long run, even though it might be a little more expensive initially, is to install the new system because it’s really going to save people money.

Greg:

Absolutely, absolutely, older systems like that. Now, just for clarity, if your system is newer, two, three, four, like Charlie’s system, definitely do the warranty repair because the part will be covered. You just have to pay for labor in refrigerant and you still have another five, six, seven years left on your warranty. But yes, for sure when you get at that end nine, 10-year range, definitely a new system is the best long-term solution for your AC.

Lauren:

All right. Well, Greg, thank you so much for sharing this information with us today. I hope our listeners find this helpful, provide you a little knowledge on best course of action for you, depending on what you’re currently facing. Which we hope no one is presently dealing with AC issues because we know, especially this time of year in Florida, that is no fun. So thank you so much for taking the time today, Greg, and for being here with us. 

Greg:

No problem.

Charlie:

Thanks for listening to Comfort on Porpoise to learn more about our sponsor Dolphin Cooling and Heating visit www.dolphincooling.com or call 239-596-9044. That’s 239-596-9044.