A few things up front:
House size: 950 sq foot
Inside unit: Janitrol CK24-18
Outside unit: Janitrol A24-10
Installation: seven-ish years ago, air intake very badly designed
Location: florida (ack, the heat!)
We bought the house five years ago in February so we didn't really get a good feeling for how well the system worked, but on a hot day (upper 90's) the house would typically read in the upper 80's to low 90's. This year we replaced the 50-year-old windows with new superdeduper double pane ones that are really good, and fixed most of problems with the intake, so the system instead has been keeping the house in the mid-80's worst case, usually in the low 80's. We've tried to take care of the system over the years but it obviously has had a hard time of it.
Anyway, on Monday the compressor stopped working. We've tried several times since then but it refuses to come on. We've had several quotes from different companies and are satisfied we could get a good deal on a new system, but we're very strapped for money right now (I've picked up a second job just to catch up) so can't really afford to go down that route.
The question is, would it be even possible to patch up the a/c system for another year, or are we without any options at this point? If so, which parts would we be looking at replacing? We really want to get someone out to look at it but if there's no hope in fixing it we'd rather put that money towards replacing it.
One quick FAQ The spec sheet for the Janitrol system says it does 23,000 total BTUHs with that combination of units, with a "sensible BTUH" of 17,200, so what does that equate to in terms of the "tonnes" that systems are rated as today?