Do I Repair or Replace My HVAC System?
To Repair or Replace? That Is the Question.
Many people will argue 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 might be right. It may even be true the following 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 really worth that much disappointment and money? Where do you draw the line between repairing your HVAC system and replacing it?
Working out the Life Span of Your HVAC System
The federal government suggests replacing air conditioners around 10 years old and furnaces over 20 years old. The biggest reason for this, according to the EPA and Department of Energy, is that newer air conditioners and heat pumps grant significant long-term energy savings. Replacing older air conditioning units 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 choice of 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 received routine maintenance and has not required excessive repairs, and your energy costs have not been affected, then it may not be time to replace the system. Instead, it may be better to make the simpler repairs on a well-maintained system, regardless of its age. If components in your system have failed a couple of times in the last two years, it might be time to consider replacement. If it’s wearing out parts quicker 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 vital to the environment, and should be important to you. Even if your equipment is only eight or nine years old, it can use double 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, instead of 10 SEER back in 2006. The SEER rating is determined by the cooling output during an average cooling-season divided by the culumlative electric energy input. While 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, dumping that old 10 SEER unit with a 21 SEER unit may save more on your energy bill.
Think about the Structure of Your Home
If you have a hard time with keeping your home cool enough in summer or warm enough in winter, a poorly insulated home may be the culprit. Adequate insulation decreases the demand on an HVAC system and helps it to work more efficiently. If insulation issues are resolved, it may be possible to exchange your current system with a smaller, less expensive one, or hold onto your current system for some more years.
Still undecided if you should repair or replace your current unit? Ask yourself 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 couple of 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 firm 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 works with your budget.