Should I Replace or Repair My HVAC System?
If only your heating and air conditioning system could last forever. The heart of your home’s comfort is also your most expensive appliance. So how do you know when it’s time to replace it? Why can’t you just keep repairing it forever? What’s all this stuff you’ve heard about newer units being more efﬁcient and saving you on your utility bills?
When to Keep Your HVAC System…
A heating and air conditioning system under 12 years of age is generally not considered to be replacement worthy. According to Energy.gov the “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. A system younger than 12 years old should give you a few more years of life before you need to replace it. The best way to extend its life (possibly double its life) and lower your utility bills is to get annual tune-ups.
Two Reasons to Replace a Young System…
1. A Major Breakdown – if your heat exchanger (for a furnace), compressor (for an air conditioner), or motor fail, they deﬁnitely need to be replaced with new components. If the labor and part cost begin to approach several thousand dollars, replacing the entire system is probably your best option.
2. Lack of Comfort in Your Home – if your heating and air conditioning system doesn’t get your house warm or cold enough, it’s often because it’s the wrong size or has been poorly installed. When that’s the case, the only alternative to suffering for years in an uncomfortable house is to replace the system with One Hour’s No Pressure Process.
If Your HVAC System’s 12 Years Old or Older…
Your utility bills are the main reason to replace your older system now as opposed to later. Energy.gov states that today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efﬁcient model.
An untimely breakdown is the next reason to consider replacing. In extreme cold or hot temperatures, your heating and air conditioning system works overtime to keep you comfortable. An older system leaves you at higher risk when it’s struggling the most. Replacing an older heating and air conditioning system makes sure you stay cozy warm or comfy cool every day of the year.
The older your system gets, the more it costs to repair. Beyond 12 years, investing money into your system doesn’t guarantee the extension of its life. The rest of your system parts are just as old and can breakdown at any time. Installing a new system can include a parts and labor warranty of 10 years, meaning not having to pay a dime on repair bills for an entire decade.
Safety is the most important reason to replace your old system.
1. Carbon Monoxide. Older furnaces are at risk of getting cracks in their heat exchangers, allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. The more years of use, the more likely corrosion has caused a crack to form. A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to tell if you have a leak.
2. Electrical issues. In heating and air conditioning systems over 12 years old, fuses short out and connection points get weak. Hopefully, the only result would be your air conditioner or heater quitting and not a dangerous ﬁre. Regular tune-ups are important to make sure you don’t have an electrical issue developing.
The Final Verdict
Having a heating and air conditioning system over 12 years old doesn’t mean that you automatically need to replace. We hope yours lasts as long as possible, or even forever.
Whatever the age of your system, the best way to insure low utility bills and a long system life is getting regular tune-ups. If you are a member of our Comfort Club, you’ll receive these free every year as well as additional discounts.
For questions about replacement, the Comfort Club or to schedule a tune-up, call (757) 868-7600 or send us a message through our online form.