Whether facing down the cold of winter or the extreme heat of summer, your furnace and/or air conditioning system needs to be performing in peak mode. The problem is that many homeowners are confused by this issue: should you repair or undergo a complete replacement. HVAC experts understand when a system is on its last legs. They know what to look for, how to assess the efficiency of a furnace or AC, and they can make recommendations that will benefit homeowners in the long run; that is if you are working with the right HVAC team!
Understanding how to approach issues that do arise with your furnace/air conditioning begins with annual maintenance and inspection. Think about it…just as with anything else, your furnace or air conditioning system works hard. Especially during the more extreme weather months, these systems can be pushed to maximum capacity. A few things to keep in mind when it comes to your home’s HVAC:
- A furnace/air conditioning system that has regular maintenance checks will last on average forty percent longer.
- Less than fifty percent of people actually have routine maintenance done on their HVAC systems.
- Nearly forty percent of homeowners will rank system reliability as their top metric for deciding on an HVAC to purchase.
- Average US replacement costs for a furnace/AC can range from around 4000k to over 10k depending on the type of system installed.
The Case for Furnace/Air Conditioning Repair
The question therefore stands, when should you stick to furnace and/or air conditioning repair rather than a replacement? Again, a yearly HVAC system check will reveal a great deal about the status of your system. Consulting with a professional who is well-versed in furnace and air conditioning repair is your first step if you suspect that something is wrong with your overall unit.
When it comes to HVAC repair the following represent a starting point in terms of answering the “to repair or to replace” argument:
- Your current system is less than fifteen years old. Rule of thumb suggests that if your system is less than fifteen years old and the repair cost is around a third of what a replacement unit might cost, then looking into repair is a good bet.
- Where does your furnace/air conditioning operating efficiency stand? Efficiency is so important when it comes to an HVAC unit. An inefficient system is costing you money—potentially a lot of money. On average, over forty percent of your utility bill consists of HVAC-related charges. This is why you want to stay on top of efficiency. If upon being checked, your system is still running at a higher efficiency, then a repair might be all that you need.
- There are some easy repair solutions you’ve overlooked. Did you know that most homeowners aren’t aware that they may be unintentionally sabotaging their system? For instance, are there boxes and/or other such debris directly in front of your furnace or air conditioning? This could be causing issues. Has your filter been changed recently? What about your HVAC ducts…have these been checked and cleaned in the recent past? Additionally, your burner flames could be impeded by debris of some form. Also, there could be air leaks of which you are unaware. Again, this is why yearly maintenance and a checkup are so critical for keeping your system operating as it should.
The Case for Furnace/AC Replacement
While being able to repair your existing furnace or AC can save you money, this may not always be the case. Sometimes replacing your current system is the smarter thing to do and actually could end up saving you in the long run; in fact, it most likely will
Given the following conditions you probably will want to replace your furnace and air conditioning system:
- Your furnace and air conditioning are over fifteen years old, and your energy bills continue to rise. Rising energy bills are never a good sign. And particularly if yours is an older HVAC system, then it is likely time for furnace/AC replacement. In fact, with a newer, more efficient system (some are upwards of 97% efficient) you can save as much as 20-40% on energy bills. The replacement system will most definitely pay for itself.
- There are a series of strange sounds coming from your unit. When an HVAC unit gets toward the end of its lifespan, it will start making some odd sounds. There may for instance be grinding or popping sounds. Sometimes there will be a squealing noise. Keep an ear open for such sounds.
- You notice your air quality has diminished. There could be a good deal of dust circulating in your indoor environment; some might notice that mold is forming or there are mildewy smells emerging. This could definitely be traced back to a poorly performing HVAC unit—one that probably needs to be replaced.
- You’ve had a couple of major repairs in the last 1-2 years. The fact that you are having to spend money on a somewhat regular basis to keep your furnace and air conditioning running is a good sign that the unit may be on its last legs. Before shelling out any more money on repairs, talk to a specialist and have a thorough HVAC assessment done.
Not sure if you are ready for a new HVAC system? Are you wondering about the cost of a repair versus the replacement cost? We can help. Our team of highly skilled experts will not steer you wrong. We only want what is best for our customers.
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