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 needed, that might be true. It might even be true the next time. But what about the third and fourth repair? What if you are making repairs on an air conditioner that is 12 years old, or a furnace that is 30 years old? Is it actually worth that kind of stress and money? What should you choose between repairing your HVAC system and replacing it?
Learning 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 new air conditioners and heat pumps provide outstanding long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning equipment may save you 20% or more on air conditioning energy usage. The older the model, the less effective and more costly it will be.
When faced with the decision between repair or replacement, one should weigh the current and future operating costs against the cost of installing a new system. If your system has enjoyed regular maintenance and has not needed incessant repairs, and your energy costs have not been affected, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it could be better to make the small repairs on a well-maintained system, despite its age. If parts in your system have broken a few times in the previous two years, it may be time to consider replacement. If it’s going through parts quicker 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 crucial to the environment, and should be important to you. Even if your equipment is just eight or nine years old, it can use twice 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 an average cooling-season divided by the culumlative electric energy input. Even if your system may not yet be 10 years old, it may still be inadequately managing energy use and greatly increasing costs. In the long run, dumping that old 10 SEER unit with a 21 SEER unit can save more on your energy bill.
Consider the Structure of Your Home
If you have trouble keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, an inadequately insulated home could be part of the problem. Sufficient insulation decreases the demand on an HVAC system and allows it to perform more efficiently. If insulation problems are resolved, it may 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 undecided if you should repair or replace your current unit? Review the questions below to help you decide.
- What are the annual repair costs for your current heating and cooling system?
- How old is your current system?
- Have you seen a sharp 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 solid understanding 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.