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Repair or Replace

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FAQs to Determine if You Should Repair vs. Replace HVAC

When it comes to your Los Angeles home, comfort is a priority. After all, your house is where you spend so much of your time living life–from relaxing and sleeping to entertaining and making memories. So when a broken heater or AC disrupts your life, it’s reasonable to want some kind of assurance that it won’t happen again anytime soon. If repairs become more frequent–or the repair is very expensive–you may wonder if it’s worth it just to replace your HVAC.

Or you may be in the opposite scenario. A home service provider has recommended that you replace your HVAC, and you wonder if it can’t be repaired and last you a few more years. How do you know for sure?

Here at Brody Pennell, we complete HVAC installations every single day. Our award-winning HVAC team has truly seen it all, in every neighborhood across sunny LA. We talk to homeowners just like you every single day and answer questions about this same conundrum. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and our expert answers.

How long does an AC or heater last?

A residential AC unit can last 20 years or longer. Heaters can last 25 years or longer. But don’t be fooled; this is not a hard and fast number to go by. From an equipment and component standpoint, your HVAC units need annual maintenance to reach their maximum age.

So let’s be honest: have you had a technician visit your home every year for preventative maintenance since installation? Was the previous owner of your home diligent about service? If not, your HVAC simply won’t last as long.

The other side of this equation is simply your tolerance. As heating and cooling units get older, they get less efficient, meaning higher energy bills. They may get noisier, or struggle to keep your home at comfortable temperatures, both of which can be a nuisance. And yes–HVAC units will require repairs throughout their life. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you can put up with these annoyances or if you’d rather replace the system.

How many HVAC repairs are too many?

At most, you should expect to repair your AC or heater once a year. If you have to call an HVAC technician twice, three times, or more over the course of 12 months, there is an underlying issue.

However, that issue isn’t necessarily that your HVAC needs replacement. It could be that a previous repair was unsuccessful–either poor workmanship or a failed component. Another potential problem could be that your home is suffering from leaky doors or windows, and your HVAC is overworking to compensate. –maybe your AC or heater really is on its last legs and needs replacement.

If you’ve had two or more repairs in the last 12 months, you should consult with one of our Brody Pennell comfort advisors. Our team will work with you to determine the underlying problem and guide you in the next steps.

How should I compare the cost of AC repair vs. the cost of AC replacement?

If your faulty air conditioner is more than 10 years old, ask a trusted HVAC professional for two quotes: one for repair and one for replacement. If the AC repair estimate is less than 25% of the cost of a new system, it makes the most sense to repair it. Over 25%, start looking at a replacement.

Don’t forget to include lucrative extras in your calculation. For example, is your AC under warranty? If so, that may reduce or eliminate the repair cost. Another item to consider is incentives and rebates. During the slower season of spring and fall, you can find the deepest discounts on a new unit. Be sure to factor in those savings!

Do I need to replace my HVAC if I’m doing a home renovation project?

It depends. The size of your HVAC unit (expressed in Tons or BTUs) depends on how much heat exists in your home before a heating and cooling system is involved. Heat in your home comes from all sorts of sources, like the roof, walls, windows, people, electronics, lighting, and equipment. Have you made any of these changes to your home during a renovation?

  • Added or removed windows, or changed their location
  • Added or removed interior or exterior walls
  • Added new spaces entirely, like a finished attic or garage, or an enclosed sunroom
  • Added or changed equipment, especially in a kitchen

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should call our team at Brody Pennell for an evaluation. In some cases, a simple change of a damper or re-sizing of ductwork will do the trick. But in other situations, you may need to upsize your HVAC or invest in a small mini-split to ensure new spaces are comfortable.

Answering your HVAC Repair and Replace Questions

At Brody Pennell, we are committed to education first. We want our customers to be confident in their purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to investing in a new HVAC unit. If your question wasn’t answered here, please give our team a call at (310) 810-2721.

Put your family’s comfort first this year and schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our many experienced team members. Call (310) 810-2721.


On The Purchase and Installation of Our Air Conditioning Products and Systems
Danny M.
The company was able to book an appointment quickly (same day) to fix our AC. Richie arrived on time and was professional and thorough. He was able to repair the issue and provide recommendations on other options. Appreciate the quick turnaround and quality service.
Carly S.
I had a wonderful experience! Ruben could not have been more helpful, professional, kind, experienced and communicative. My system is very old and he was extremely knowledgeable about the older system. He did a thorough check and answered all of my questions. Wonderful customer care as well. I can't recommend Ruben & Brody Pennell more!
Matthew M.
Juan Romo showed up right on time and was in and out in 10 mins. Great experience with this company, would 100% use again
Patricia B.
Maurice& Alberto.M were Lovely & very thorough.
Cheng L.
Very friendly and professional. Took the time to explain every thing.
Jerry S. B.
Giovanny Quintero was very helpful in making our decision to upgrade. He took very clear & comprehensive photos of the existing problems in our system & then provided an accurate assessment & description of what the problems meant & how they would develop & worsen with continued use. My wife & I were very impressed with Giovanny, he was very knowledgeable & personable.
Susan W.
Jose and Anthony were gracious polite and knowledgeable. Very professional maintenance visit.
Michele A.
Juan Molina provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, thorough, and kind! Highly recommend Brody Pennell.
Jessi D.
Professional, friendly, and efficient service visit from Ivan and Angel today!
Nick E.
Brett and Ruben were great today. Great customer service. Thank you.
Margo P.
Ivan and Giovanni Ponce
keely M.
Rene Morales is always on-time and very professional. Brody Pennell provides great service.July 2024Rene does great work, quick, thorough, and efficient. I always ask for Rene when it's time for maintenance.
James T.
Very knowledgeable . Very friendly answered all my questions
Amanda M.
Daniel and Ashton are very professional and kind. They made the entire experience seamless. Thank you!
zubin H.
Daniel Avila was my technician and he was great. Very informative and did a great job.
Oly O.
Maurice & Alberto.m worked on our system and was very nice and hard working me and Patricia bell recommend them coming back!!
Adam Exler G.
Armando was very thorough and checked all the boxes during my bi-annual service call. He quickly changed my filters and was very cordiale and easy to work with as well.10/10!
Kevin X.
Ivan came and helped me fix my AC today and it was as pain free and quick as could be! He replaced a part for us the same day and was a professional, kind young man. Couldn’t be happier to have working AC in the summer sun :)
Nancy K.
Did a great job. I’m very pleased
Ray B.
The technician provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, professional, thorough, efficient, clean and courteous. Thank you.
Liz R.
Maurice and Christian F were so knowledgable and professional! They were also very pleasant!! Can only say great things about them!!
Shirley W.
Angel O. and Alberta M. were just here to do the yearly maintenance on our A/C. They did a fabulous job! So thorough and extensive. They were thoughtful and respectful and answered all my questions. They adjusted vents that will make our summer more comfortable. Could not be happier with the work and workers!
Jay S.
Maurice went the extra mile and did an excellent job with tune up of our A/C unit. He shared photos, explained everything he was doing, made proper recommendations! Thanks Maurice!
Curtis J.
James provided diagnosis that was.consistent with.his estimateI am satisfied with his work
lisa V.
Anthony Manzo was here today to service my HVAC unit! He was an absolute pleasure having him in my home. Anthony is a total pro. Very knowledgeable and informative. He is welcome back anytime future service calls. Same goes for Supervisor Ashton K who also inspected my AC unit and advised me on options to replace my very, VERY old AC. Thank you Ashton, Anthony and Brody Pennell.Diego and Jose just finished installing my new 3.5 Ton Carrier AC. What a job. They were both lovely and super hard workers. They answered my silly questions throughout the day. They did a great job. Thanks all!
Jennifer K.
Jason did a very thorough job and was a delight to interact with
Marjaneh R.
Mr. Juan Molina was prompt professional and easily explained the situation and offered practical solutions. ThankYou
Rick H.
Very polite and competent technician!
DeAnna T.
Daniel (service tech) was timely and efficient. He clearly explained all the items serviced in both units (including pictures) and made recommendations to keep them operational.
Mark H.
Anthony Monzo and David Escamilla were fantastic. They were able to access systems in really challenging locations and provide explanations of what was happening complete with photos and videos they took. Highly recommend them.Follow-up... The next week, a team came to install the new system led by Christian. It was a very difficult project but they were very thorough. Steven came the following day to trouble shoot a few issues and the following day Jose Rivera and Alessandro wrapped up the project. All folks were very professional and made sure to leave the house clean.
Gianni F.
Rene did a great job - very knowledgeable and even gave me tips not related to the job that needed to be done. Oh and also very friendly!
David O.
3/22 - clean, fast, courteous job with Troy and Phil. Very polite and thorough! Another fantastic job by the people at BrodyYet another pleasant service experience with Marcos!!! Also told me about an air scrubber install that Brody can do as well.10/9: another great job by Steven7/11/24: just another shoutout to Jose Castillo
Kevin B.
great service from Brody Pennell. In particular, the technician who stopped by, James Handy, was courteous, very thorough and professional. Appreciate the continued good service
Tasha M.
David Escamilla was professional, answered all my questions and never made me feel rushed. He took the time to explain what he was seeing with my A/C and the recommendations he was making for it. He even was able to complete work that wasn't scheduled for that day but was needed to make my A/C run better. I would recommend him and Brody Pennell for anything related for your heating and air conditioning needs they are extremely professional and I always feels great when using their business.
Vincent B.
The technician was very professional and knowledgeable he kept me up to date on any issues …and I would recommend them
Alex D.
Shawn was very knowledgable and patient with our questions. Great job!
Sam A.
Christy K.
Two thumbs up to Kevin and Ariel! They were efficient and very professional. Highly recommend.
Mike T.
Steven came by do perform our AC maintenance and was incredible.He went above and beyond to insure our system was taken care of. 10/10
Carol Ann S.
ReneExcellent Performance
JoAnn M.
Cesar Corrales and Phillip Y were efficient and informative and did an excellent job.
Monique H.
Brody Pennell is a great company! Very professional! I will use them again!Anthony Manzo was excellent!
Bil B.
I had a great experience with Rene on his service call today. He explained everything he was doing while I watched. He was thorough and efficient.
Joe R.
The team did a fantastic job cleaning and fixing the drain noises from our bathroom. They were very considerate, polite of our time and space. Would highly recommend them!
Beverly M.
Desi was very helpful in resolving our air conditioning issues.
K. Ron N.
Very professional, knowledgeable, and prompt.
LisaGay H.
Dean K.
James H. was fantastic - arrived during the agreed window, polite and friendly, found our problem with our AC unit's power supply and made a simple fix quickly. And only charged us the call-out fee because of that, which was really appreciate. Great service !!