Do I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?
To Repair or Replace? That Is the Question.
Many people will argue that it costs less to repair an HVAC system than to spend the money to replace it. The first time a repair is necessary, that might be accurate. It may even be true the following time. But what about the third and fourth repair? What if you are performing repairs on an air conditioner that is 12 years old, or a furnace that is 30 years old? Is it actually worth that much disappointment and money? What should you choose between repairing your HVAC system and replacing it?
Working out the Life Span of Your HVAC System
The federal government recommends replacing air conditioners more than 10 years old and furnaces over 20 years old. The primary reason for this, according to the EPA and Department of Energy, is that modern air conditioners and heat pumps offer outstanding long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning units may save you 20% or more on air conditioning energy use. The older the system, the less productive and more costly it will be.
When faced with the options of repair or replacement, one should think about the current and future operating costs against the expense of installing a new system. If your system has been given professional maintenance and has not needed excessive repairs, and your energy costs have not increased, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it may be better to make the small repairs on a well-maintained system, no matter its age. If components in your system have malfunctioned a handful of times in the last two years, it may be time to start the process of replacement. If it’s wearing out parts faster than you can replace them, it will only get worse.
How Efficient Is Your HVAC System?
The overall performance of your air conditioning and heating system is crucial to the environment, and should be important to you. Even if your heating and air conditioning is only eight or nine years old, it could use double the energy of a modern, more efficient system. By federal law, the current minimum SEER rating (or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for an air conditioner is 13 SEER, instead of 10 SEER back in 2006. The SEER rating is measured by the cooling output throughout a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input. Though your system may not yet be 10 years old, it may still be poorly managing energy use and greatly increasing costs. In the long run, ditching that old 10 SEER unit with a 21 SEER unit might save more on your energy bill.
Review the Structure of Your Home
If you have a hard time with keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, an inadequately insulated home may be the culprit. Sufficient insulation lowers the wear and tear on an HVAC system and helps it to perform more efficiently. If insulation gaps are addressed, it can be possible to swap your current system with a smaller, less expensive one, or hold onto your current system for a couple more years.
Still uncertain if you should repair or replace your current unit? Review the questions below to help you decide.
- What are the average repair costs for your current heating and cooling system?
- How old is your current system?
- Have you seen a surprise increase in your energy bills over the last few years?
- How often is your system turning on (i.e., how hard is it working) to meet your heating and cooling needs?
Do you have a good sense of what you might need, but would prefer a second opinion? Give Precision Heating & Air a call at 512-772-4467! Precision offers free quotes for system replacements, and our Comfort Consultants will work to provide you with a quote that works with your budget.