Repair Or Replace?
When Should You Decide To Repair Or Replace Your HVAC Equipment?
Figuring out whether you should repair or replace your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can be a difficult decision to make. It can be hard to figure out the best course of action when your unit starts acting up because there are many factors to consider. Is it too soon for replacement? Is repair your best choice in the long run, or would a newer, more efficient system offer you the function and dependability you desire?
You’d be surprised at how often we get called out for a second opinion, only to find that the old furnace, air conditioner and water tank still have plenty of life in it and doesn’t need to be replaced. Another issue to consider, even if your HVAC system appears to be working fine, is whether the money you spend each month to heat and cool your home could be working to buy you a brand-new, more comfortable system. The older your system is, the more money its outdated technology could be costing you.
Artisan Air Heating And Air Conditioning has compiled this guide on when to replace your HVAC equipment, and when to invest money into repairing it.
Reasons To Repair:
Is Your Equipment Under Warranty?
When a part is covered under warranty, it’s usually best to get the repair and move on. Warranties make the repair vs. replace debate pretty clear-cut. If nothing else is wrong, why pay for a new furnace, water tank or air conditioner?
Is Your System Less Than 10 Years Old?
All HVAC equipment have different life expectancies, but furnaces and air conditioners are manufactured to last between 12 to 15+ years on average. If your unit is under 10 years old, your chances of having frequent problems are a lot lower, making a quick repair tends to be more appealing than full system replacement.
What Is The Total Cost Of The Repair?
The 50% Rule – If the cost of repair vs. replacement of your system is less than half of its value and you haven’t been needing constant service calls to keep your system up and running, repair may be the best option
Are You Planning On Moving?
When your chances of moving are high, confirm that your HVAC equipment isn’t at the end of its projected lifespan before opting for the repair. Upgrading or Replacing outdated units could help your house stand out to potential buyers, but if the unit is in good operating condition or still under warranty, you might be better off sticking with the repair route.
Reasons To Replace:
Safety Comes First
If your equipment presents an immediate safety hazard, replacement is a no-brainer. For example, if your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger (the metal wall between the burning fuel and the air it’s heating) poisonous carbon monoxide gas could make its way into the household air supply, causing serious injuries and death.
We determine if there is a crack in your heat exchanger by two methods
1) A Full Combustion Analyzer Test (we measure all levels of your equipment including CO)
2) A Full Interior Inspection With A Specialized Camera
Other problems can be repaired, which means you’ll need to do a cost to benefit analysis.
Has Your Equipment Needed Costly Repairs Recently?
Older HVAC systems are far more likely to have frequent repair issues. When equipment has passed the warranty coverage date and repair costs only seem to escalate, you’re probably on the verge of the replacement option
How Old Is Your Equipment?
When deciding whether to replace your furnace, air conditioner or other HVAC equipment, take a look at its age. Furnaces/air conditioners have a typical lifespan of around 15 years, so if your units are acting up, and it is past the 15 year mark, then it might be better to replace it. Just like the old car example, we can repair any unit, but is it worth it at the end?
Did you just have it serviced, and it’s broken again? These are the instances where it becomes more viable to replace rather than repair.
Replace For Greater Efficiency ?
Very old systems can continue running for years past its life expectancy, they are not nearly as efficient as modern day units. Every year your system looses 1% efficiency (less if its been maintained). That means after 15 years of usage, a 92% energy efficiency unit would be running close to 77%+ efficient. For every dollar spent, 23 cents would be wasted due to energy loss.
The government continually regulates and pushes manufacturers to create more efficient systems by creating energy standards and mandates. The Energy Star program recommends replacing HVAC systems older than ten years. Innovations in technology within recent years have created systems that are much more efficient than the ones commonly available years ago.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings are set by the Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers or ASHRAE. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater its potential energy savings.
For example, a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 96% indicates that for every $1.00 of energy used to operate the furnace only four cents is not fully utilized.
Energy Utilization Terms
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is the term used to identify the air-cooling efficiency rating of a Air Conditioner. The
higher the rating number the more
efficient it is designed to operate.