When it comes to HVAC equipment, the decision to repair or replace your current equipment can be difficult. Investing in new equipment can be expensive, but so can having a repairman at your home every other week! So what is a homeowner to do when faced with this tough decision?
If you have HVAC equipment that is aging and acting up, there are a few things to consider. The most helpful ally in this decision-making process is someone who knows the equipment inside and out – a trusted professional HVAC tech. They will be able to provide the best information about whether or not equipment needs to be replaced or can be repaired to last a few more years.
How Old Is Your Equipment?
Old HVAC equipment isn’t necessarily bad. We have a couple of clients with air conditioning systems well into their 50th year of operation! These systems continue to run (mostly) perfectly with the help of proper maintenance and a little extra TLC.
But the age of your equipment can give you some idea of whether or not part of your HVAC system is worth repairing. On average, the life span of an air conditioner is 10-15 years, a heat pump about 15 years, a furnace about 15-20 years, and a boiler 20-30 years. However, well-maintained equipment can outlast their predicted lifespan by a long shot, so this is just one aspect to keep in mind when deciding to repair or replace.
Is Your Equipment Safe To Run?
This question mainly applies to appliances that run on gas, but it is an important consideration nonetheless. Gas equipment can pose threats from carbon monoxide and fires or explosion if there are serious problems such as gas leaks.
A professional technician will be able to assess this type of equipment and give you a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether or not you should continue to run a furnace that is potentially unsafe.
How Often Is The Repairman Showing Up?
Do you know your local HVAC repairman by name? Do you have our number on speed dial? If so, that may be a sign that your equipment needs to be replaced rather than repaired. As much as we love to see our clients, we don’t like having to charge for repairs on HVAC systems that are on their last leg.
In this instance, it’s time to consider the cost of repairs vs. the investment in new equipment. If it looks like you are spending more to maintain a faulty system than it will cost to install a new piece of equipment, then the decision is a no-brainer. Plus, just think about how nice it will be to have an HVAC system that actually works for a change!
Have Your Energy Bills Continued To Creep Up?
When you look at your gas and/or electric bill, are the number slowly increasing more than they should based on market energy rates? If this is the case, then it is possible that your HVAC system is becoming an energy hog. This problem could be related to something within the system that needs fixing, or it could be equipment that is wearing out. Either way, seeing an increase in your energy costs over time that can’t be attributed solely to an increase in prices is a signal that something is wrong.
Is Your Home Routinely Too Hot or Too Cold?
A house that is too hot or cold could have many issues, so it’s best to have a technician check this out before going into a discussion about replacing equipment. But if you have had your system checked and still experience problems maintaining a comfortable environment in your home, it might be time for a change.
It’s possible that a heater or air conditioner that is not the right size for your home was installed, creating issues in keeping the entire house comfortable. If this is the case, replacing an inefficient system with one that works may lead to energy savings down the line.
When Was The Last Time You Had An Energy Audit?
An energy audit is an excellent way to learn about reducing home energy costs. If you haven’t had one in awhile, it might be time to let a home energy specialist take a look at your current electricity usage and offer suggestions. Newer HVAC equipment is substantially more energy efficient than the systems of the past. It is possible that by investing in new equipment, you will make up for the initial investment with significantly lowered electrical bills.
Have questions about your HVAC system? Give us a call at (205) 871-8111 to schedule a consultation on your current equipment.