Do I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?
To Repair or Replace? That Is the Question.
Many people will tell you 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 may be the case. It could even be true the following 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 truly worth that sort of stress 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 biggest reason for this, according to the EPA and Department of Energy, is that modern air conditioners and heat pumps provide considerable long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning units may save you 20% or more on air conditioning energy expenditure. The older the model, the less efficient and more costly it will be.
When met with the decision between repair or replacement, you should think about the current and future operating costs against the expense of installing a new system. If your system has enjoyed routine maintenance and has not required excessive repairs, and your energy costs have not gone up, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it could be better to make the minor repairs on a well-maintained system, regardless of its age. If parts in your system have failed a handful of times in the last two years, it might be time to think about replacement. If it’s going through parts more quickly than you can replace them, it will continue to do so.
How Efficient Is Your HVAC System?
The effectiveness 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 might 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 established by the cooling output across a regular cooling-season divided by the culumlative electric energy input. Though your system may not yet be 10 years old, it might still be inefficiently 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.
Think about the Structure of Your Home
If you have trouble keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, an inconsistently insulated home might be a contributing factor. Sufficient insulation lowers the wear and tear on an HVAC system and helps it to function more efficiently. If insulation problems are resolved, it may be possible to replace your current system with a smaller, less expensive one, or use your current system for some more years.
Still undecided if you should repair or replace your current unit? Check out 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 good sense of what you might need, but would like 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.