When we bought this place we kind of thought that it was going to need this done and sure enough we are now looking at a really high repair bill. The house was built in 1971 and the air conditioning unit was put in a couple of years later it would appear. It was not in peak operating condition to start with and I have already gotten a guy who does ac repair in essex county nj to swing past and give us a couple of estimates. I got a price to replace it, even though I knew that I could not afford to do that at the time and a price to have it fixed. Of course it is pretty obvious that this would have been pretty much a band aid solution and not a long term fix. It would have been cheaper in the short term, but pretty much a waste of money when you know that it is probably not going to be a permanent fix.
So you are not really doing right when you fix something which is this old. Usually it will cost a good bit more as the replacement parts are really hard to find. Of course some of the time it is just not a practical idea to totally replace a system. For us we are pretty close to operate at the edge of our abilities to pay our bills now and while we have some money in reserve, it is there for a real emergency. That means something which is really going to be critical. We can probably get through this summer with no air if things are reasonably nice. You just get some really nice fans and you sit in front of them. In this case the house has a full basement and it is cooler down there.