Should You Replace Just the Inside AC Unit or the Entire System? A Comprehensive Guide

As an expert in the HVAC industry, I am often asked whether it is possible to just replace the inside AC unit or if the entire system needs to be replaced. The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no, as it depends on various factors such as the age of the system, type of refrigerant used, and overall efficiency. In this article, I will provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Types of AC Systems and Their Components

Before we dive into the details, let's first understand the different types of AC systems and their components. Apart from the obvious ones like the thermostat and ducts, there are two main types of AC systems - those that use Freon R-22 and those that use R410a Puron, the newer refrigerant.

If you have an older system that uses Freon R-22, it is recommended to replace both the outdoor unit and attic evaporator coil to avoid contamination of the new refrigerant. If your system is more than 10 years old and your condenser or compressor fails, it can be quite expensive to replace just that component. This brings us to the question - should you replace just the inside AC unit or the entire system?

Replacing Just the Inside AC Unit

If your AC is relatively new (less than 8 years old) and in good condition, it is best to just replace the faulty component. However, if your system is nearing its end of life and the compressor shuts down, it is recommended to replace the entire unit. This is because when one component fails in an old system, there is a high chance of other parts failing soon after.

In such a scenario, it is better to invest in a new system rather than spending money on frequent repairs.

Warranty Considerations

If your system is nearing the 10-year mark and the compressor fails, it is important to check if it is still under warranty. If the warranty is still valid, even for a few days, the compressor part will be covered. However, labor costs may not be covered, so you will have to bear that expense. But considering the high cost of a compressor, this is still a better option than having to replace the entire unit.

Comfort and Efficiency

When faced with a major AC issue, it is also important to consider your comfort level with the current system.

If you are not satisfied with the performance of your current AC, it may be a good opportunity to upgrade to a more efficient and comfortable system. Older systems tend to be less efficient and may not provide adequate cooling or heating. By replacing both the indoor and outdoor units, you can ensure that your system works properly and provides optimal comfort.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

It is worth mentioning that regular maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your AC system. Most AC units have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, but with proper maintenance, they can last even longer.

Therefore, it is important to schedule regular tune-ups and address any issues promptly to avoid major breakdowns.


In conclusion, whether you should replace just the inside AC unit or the entire system depends on various factors such as the age of the system, type of refrigerant used, and overall efficiency. It is always best to consult with an HVAC expert who can assess your specific situation and provide you with the best solution. At Airteam, we strive to inform our customers and help them make an informed decision. So, if you are facing an AC issue, don't hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice and service.