When is it Time to Replace Your HVAC System?
HVAC systems are expensive but they certainly make our lives more comfortable throughout the year. Knowing when it will be time to replace your HVAC system is important information because it can help you to plan ahead. Saving up for a replacement will allow you to have the money set aside when it is time to replace your HVAC, putting less stress on you, your wallet, and your household’s budget. Talking to an HVAC specialist can help you to determine the current health of the system, any repairs that might be needed in the near future, and if you will have to make a replacement sooner than expected. Here are some factors to consider if you think your HVAC may be in need of a replacement soon.
- Age – knowing the age of your HVAC system is really important because it can help you to plan out and save for a replacement. Depending on the quality, maintenance, and overall condition of the HVAC, most systems live from about 10 to 20 years. That is a pretty big range but you should start saving for a new HVAC before you reach the 10 year mark. Systems that are over 10 years old may seem like they are running well but they could actually be really inefficient, which puts a lot of strain on the machine and uses a lot more energy. Regular maintenance from a trained HVAC specialist will improve the efficiency of the system and it will probably help it to last longer. If you start to have issues with your HVAC and it is over 10 years old, you may consider buying a new system, rather than putting money into repairs. Your HVAC specialist will be able to advise you on what would be the best use of your money.
- Temperature – if you notice fluctuations in temperature throughout your home, or in specific areas, it could be caused by your HVAC. The system may be worn out and working inefficiently if it is older or if it is the wrong size for your home. Other causes for temperature fluctuations could be due to poor insulation in certain spaces or a thermostat that needs replacement. You can have an energy audit done to make suggestions to improve energy efficiency within your home. They can measure how much air escapes due to bad insulation and cracks in doors and windows. You can also upgrade to a smart thermostat to improve energy efficiency and to make sure the thermostat is accurately reporting the temperature. If these don’t improve the temperature through your home, it could be caused by the HVAC system. Talking to a trained HVAC specialist will help you determine which steps you should take.
- Noises – odd noises coming from your HVAC are generally a sign that something is wrong. There are the sounds your system makes as it turns on and shuts off, and then there are other, more ominous noises. Clangs, bangs, whistles and any other new or weird sound could be cause for alarm. If you do hear anything strange, contact your HVAC specialist immediately. If caught quickly, these issues can sometimes be repaired. However, strange noises often mean that it is time to replace the entire HVAC system.
- Bills – keeping track of your energy bill is a great habit. It can help you shave off a few dollars by making a few simple adjustments in your daily life. It can also help you to see if there is a problem with your HVAC system. Large jumps in energy bills can be caused by a system that is on its last legs or that has a major issue. You should be monitoring your monthly energy bill but also compare the same time of year. For example, compare your January 2021 bill with your January 2022 bill. Winter months when you are running heat should be similar in cost and summer months with air conditioning should all be close too. An older system often just can’t keep up with demand, and it uses a lot more energy to produce heated or cooled air. If you notice this, it might be time to replace your system. Rather than spending money on increased energy bills, put that money toward a new and more efficient HVAC.
- Repairs vs. Replacement – the general rule for any big ticket item is if the repair is more than 50% of the cost to replace it, you should pay for the replacement. This is true for HVAC systems. The average cost of a new system ranges from about $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the size and quality you go with. Repairs can be costly for parts and labor so they can easily add up to more than 50%. Talk to your HVAC specialist to determine if a repair is worth it, or if it makes more sense to put the money toward a new HVAC system.
The team at Weather Crafters is a group of highly-trained professionals who can answer all your questions when it comes to replacing an HVAC system. Don’t wait until it is the hottest day of the year and your air conditioning fails. Call Weather Crafters today to schedule a maintenance appointment and start planning for the future.