Air conditioners occasionally need a replacement part. It is rare that anything in these machines needs to be repaired, in the sense that you can glue, tape, or bolt something back together. Rather, parts need replacing because they are either broken and will not work no matter what you do to them. When you call an AC repair company, you should be aware of a few things that may affect your decision to replace parts or the cooling appliance entirely. 

The Rest of the Unit Is in Good Condition and Is Not That Old

Air conditioners under ten years of age usually do not need to be replaced entirely. All you need is to replace the parts in the machine that are not working. Your repair technician will let you know how much the parts and labor will cost before replacing the parts. You can choose to do this right away and avoid a second charge for a service call, or opt to buy parts and replace them at a later date when you can afford the labor.

The Unit Was Damaged in a Wild Fire

Even when your air conditioner is only a couple of months to a couple of years old, it can still be devastating to learn that your cooling appliance was destroyed in a wild fire. Intense heat, no matter the distance from your outside components, can destroy the compressor, fan, condenser, evaporator coil, and even obliterate the refrigerant inside. If the unit looks like it was barely scathed in the fire that skirted around your property, you should still replace most of the parts inside it before attempting to turn the A/C back on. There is likely much more damage to the unit than you can see from the exterior of your air conditioner. At this point, it might be worth it to replace the entire air conditioner, seeing as homeowner's insurance might pay for everything that was singed, melted, or burned by the wild fire flames. 

The Unit is Reaching the End of Its Days

Air conditioning units that are older than fifteen years likely need to be replaced entirely. Replacing parts on these old units would likely be more expensive than just buying a new system altogether. If you are unsure if you air conditioning unit needs to be replaced, ask your technician for an estimate on all the parts that need to be replaced versus the cost of a new unit.