Do I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?
To Repair or Replace? That Is the Question.
Many people will think that it costs less to repair an HVAC system than to spend the money to replace it. The first time a repair is required, that could be the case. It might even be true the next time. But what about the third and fourth repair? What if you are completing repairs on an air conditioner that is 12 years old, or a furnace that is 30 years old? Is it really worth that kind of disappointment and money? Where do you draw the line between repairing your HVAC system and replacing it?
Establishing 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 central reason for this, according to the EPA and Department of Energy, is that newer air conditioners and heat pumps provide outstanding long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning equipment could save you 20% or more on air conditioning energy expenditure. The older the model, the less productive and more costly it will be.
When faced with the options of repair or replacement, one should consider the current and future operating costs against the price of installing a new system. If your system has received regular maintenance and has not needed excessive repairs, and your energy costs have not gone up, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it can be more efficient to make the simpler repairs on a well-maintained system, despite its age. If parts in your system have failed a couple of times in the previous two years, it might be time to consider replacement. If it’s straining parts more quickly than you can replace them, it will only get worse.
How Efficient Is Your HVAC System?
The efficiency of your air conditioning and heating system is important to the environment, and should be important to you. Even if your heating and air conditioning is just eight or nine years old, it can use double the energy of a new, 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 culumlative electric energy input. Though your system may not yet be 10 years old, it might still be insufficiently managing energy use and greatly increasing costs. In the long run, replacing that old 10 SEER unit with a 21 SEER unit might save more on your energy bill.
Examine the Structure of Your Home
If you struggle with keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, a poorly insulated home may be a contributing factor. Adequate insulation reduces the wear and tear on an HVAC system and allows it to work more efficiently. If insulation problems are taken care of, it could be possible to exchange your current system with a smaller, less expensive one, or keep your current system for some more years.
Still not sure 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 severe increase in your energy bills over the last several 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 solid sense of what you might need, but would enjoy 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 fits your budget.