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 needed, that could be the case. It might 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?
Determining the Life Span of Your HVAC System
The federal government advises 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 grant outstanding long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning units might save you 20% or more on air conditioning energy use. The older the model, the less productive and more costly it will be.
When confronted with the decision between repair or replacement, one should think about the current and future operating costs against the cost of installing a new system. If your system has enjoyed routine maintenance and has not required incessant repairs, and your energy costs have not gone up, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it might be more efficient to make the small repairs on a well-maintained system, whatever its age. If sections in your system have malfunctioned a handful of times in the previous two years, it might be time to consider replacement. If it’s going through parts faster than you can replace them, it will continue to do so.
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 equipment is only eight or nine years old, it could use two times the energy of a newer, more efficient system. By federal law, the current minimum SEER rating (or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for an air conditioner is 13 SEER, rather than 10 SEER back in 2006. The SEER rating is measured by the cooling output across a typical cooling-season divided by the entire electric energy input. Even if your system may not yet be 10 years old, it may 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 can save more on your energy bill.
Review the Structure of Your Home
If you struggle with keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, an inconsistently insulated home may be part of the problem. Adequate insulation lowers the demand on an HVAC system and encourages it to perform more efficiently. If insulation issues are handled, it could 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? 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 good grasp 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 suits your budget.