Should You Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioning/Heating System?
Most people will tell you that it costs less to just repair a faulty part in an HVAC system, than spend the money to replace the whole thing. The first time you make that repair, it might be true. It might even be true the second time. But what about the third and fourth repair? What if you are making repairs to an air conditioner that is 12 years old? Or repairs to a furnace that is 30 years old? Is it really worth that much frustration and money? Where is the line drawn between the time to repair you HVAC system, or replace it?
Determining the Life Span of Your System
The federal government recommends that air conditioners more than 10 years old, and furnaces over 20 years old need to be replaced. The primary reason for this, according to the EPA and Department of Energy, is the qualified air conditioners and heat pumps offer significant long-term energy savings. Replacing air conditioning units 10 years or older can save at least 20 percent on air conditioning energy use. The older the unit, the less efficient it’s going to be and the more money it’s going to cost you.
When faced with the choice of repair or replace, one should compare the current and future operating costs to what installing a new system will cost. If you have had your system maintenance regularly, have not had to make frequent repairs on the system, and have not seen a major influx on your energy bill then it may not be time to replace. It may be more cost effective to make the minor repairs on a well taken care of system. If your system has had components fail a couple of times in the last year or two, it may be time to look at replacement. If the system is wearing out parts faster than you can replace them, it’s not going to eventually stop doing that.
How Efficient is Your System?
The efficiency of your air conditioning and heating system is important to the environment and should be important to you. Even if your system is only 8 or 9 years old, it could be using twice the energy of a newer, more efficient system. By federal law, the minimum SEER rating for an air conditioner is 13 SEER, as opposed to 10 SEER back in 2006. Your system may not be ten years old yet, but it could still be using energy like one and driving your energy bill through the roof. In the long run, replacing that old 10 SEER unit with a 21 SEER unit can save you up to 56% on your energy bill.
Consider the Structure of Your Home
A poorly insulated home may be part of the reason your system can’t keep your home warm or cool enough. By fixing the basic flaws of your home, you may be able to go with a small, less expensive system, or even keep your system going a few more years. Better insulation will mean that you have to run your system less, and it won’t have to work as hard.
Still not sure if you should repair or replace your older unit? Simply use the checklist below to get a better idea.
• How much are you spending annually on repairs to your heating and cooling system?
• How old is your system?
• Have you seen a significant change in your energy bill in the last couple of years?
• How often is your system turning on to meet your heating and cooling needs?
Feeling like you have a good handle on what you need, but would like a second opinion? Give Precision Heating & Air Conditioning a call! We offer free quotes for system replacements, and our Comfort Consultants will be sure to give you a quote that fits your budget. When you use Precision Heating & Air Conditioning for your air conditioning and heating service and repair, you choose service you can trust 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no additional costs for after-hours work. Stay cool, Austin!