Head Office

Office Hours

Monday to Friday
7:30am - 4:00pm

Call Our Office



Cooling Repair vs. Replacement: Ottawa’s Comprehensive Guide 2024

Cooling Repair vs. Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide for Ottawa Homeowners in 2024

When faced with a malfunctioning cooling system, homeowners often grapple with the decision to repair or replace their unit. This guide will help Ottawa residents navigate these choices by exploring three main types of cooling systems: ductless mini-split air conditioners, heat pumps, and central air conditioners. We’ll provide insights into when it makes sense to repair and when replacement is the better option.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

A ductless head installed above a stairway in Ottawa, Ontario. Part of a M Series Mitsubishi ductless system.
A ductless head installed above a stairway in Ottawa Ontario Part of a M Series Mitsubishi ductless system

Repairing Your Ductless Mini-Split

Ductless mini-split systems are known for their efficiency and flexibility. Here are some situations where repair is the best option:

  • Minor Issues: Problems such as a malfunctioning remote control, clogged filters, or minor refrigerant leaks can typically be resolved with a repair.
  • Age of the Unit: If your mini-split is less than 10 years old, and this is its first major issue, repair is likely more cost-effective.
  • Energy Efficiency: If the system is still relatively energy-efficient and hasn’t led to a noticeable increase in your energy bills, a repair can extend its lifespan without significant cost.

Replacing Your Ductless Mini-Split

However, there are circumstances where replacement is more sensible:

  • Frequent Repairs: If you find yourself calling for repairs frequently, the cost can quickly add up, making replacement a more economical choice.
  • High Energy Bills: Older units tend to be less energy-efficient. If you’ve noticed a substantial increase in energy costs, upgrading to a new, more efficient model can save money in the long run.
  • Advanced Age: If your unit is over 15 years old, it may be nearing the end of its lifespan, and replacement can prevent future headaches.

Heat Pumps

Moovair Cold Climate Heat Pump (Central MOOV) Installed February 15th, in Richmond Ontario
Heat Pump installed in Ottawa

Repairing Your Heat Pump

Heat pumps are versatile systems used for both heating and cooling. Consider repairs if:

  • Single Component Failure: Issues like a faulty thermostat or a faulty contactor can usually be fixed without replacing the entire unit.
  • Recent Installation: If your heat pump is less than 10 years old and generally in good condition, repairs can be a cost-effective solution.
  • Seasonal Maintenance: Regular maintenance can catch problems early and keep your heat pump running efficiently, reducing the need for major repairs.

Replacing Your Heat Pump

Replacement should be considered under these conditions:

  • Severe Damage: Significant issues such as compressor failure or refrigerant leaks might make replacement more economical than extensive repairs.
  • Reduced Efficiency: Older heat pumps, especially those over 15 years old, can become inefficient. New models offer better performance and lower energy consumption.
  • Frequent Breakdowns: If your heat pump requires constant repairs, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a new system.

Central Air Conditioners

A nice new AC for a customer in Crystal Beach Ontario
Rheem air conditioner installation in Nepean Ontario

Repairing Your Central Air Conditioner

Central air conditioners are common in many Ottawa homes. Repairs might be the right choice if:

  • Isolated Issues: Problems like a blocked drain line, faulty capacitor, or refrigerant top-up can be resolved relatively easily.
  • Moderate Age: If your central AC unit is between 5 to 10 years old and this is its first significant issue, a repair could suffice.
  • System Efficiency: If your AC system still operates efficiently and your energy bills haven’t spiked, repairing it can be a practical option.

Replacing Your Central Air Conditioner

Consider replacing your central air conditioner in these scenarios:

  • Aging System: Units over 15 years old are often less efficient and more prone to breakdowns. A new unit can offer improved efficiency and reliability.
  • High Repair Costs: If repair costs approach 50% of the cost of a new unit, replacement is typically a better investment.
  • Energy Consumption: Upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient model can significantly reduce your energy bills and provide better cooling performance.


Deciding whether to repair or replace your cooling system can be challenging. Factors such as the age of the unit, frequency of repairs, and energy efficiency play crucial roles in this decision. For ductless mini-splits, heat pumps, and central air conditioners, the general rule is that newer, less problematic systems are often worth repairing, while older, frequently failing units might be better replaced. At AirZone HVAC Services, we offer professional advice and services to help Ottawa homeowners make the best choice for their cooling needs. Contact us today for a consultation and ensure your home stays comfortable year-round.

Kanata Ontario air conditioner installations. AirZone HVAC Services offers a wide range of air conditioning options.

Share Article



, , , , , , , , , ,

Article Tags