Should I repair or replace my HVAC unit?
That is the question on many people’s minds as we prepare ourselves to combat the trademark desert heat this summer in the Tri-Cities. With summer just around the corner, now is the time to make sure our air conditioning system is in top-notch shape so it keeps our homes cool and comfortable. You need your energy system to work efficiently and reliably. There is no getting around the fact that HVACs require regular maintenance in order for them to operate optimally over the years. However, no matter how much you have your HVAC serviced, there will be a point when it’s time for a replacement.
When you consider whether to fix or dump your HVAC, one major factor is the lifespan of your unit. According to EnergyStar – a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program – an AC unit usually lasts about 15 to 20 years. On average, a heat pump makes it for 16 years, and a furnace functions for between 15 to 20 years, reports This Old House.
Choosing Between an HVAC Repair & HVAC Replacement
Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC system:
Your main consideration probably centers around safety. If your energy system presents a safety hazard, then common sense tells you to replace the unit. That is especially the case if a repair would be prohibitive to fix. However, even issues such as stuck valves or faulty wiring might just require a simple repair. You ultimately need to do a cost-benefit analysis and confer with your HVAC company to come to the best, most practical decision.
One of the first considerations for what to do with your HVAC unit is its age. If it is approaching two decades old, you will likely be thinking about getting a new unit. You should be able to find the installation date on the unit. If not, then look inside the chamber door for a metal identification plate listing the serial and model numbers. Keep in mind that even if your unit is more than 20 years old, you do not have to discard it. The published HVAC life expectancy dates are merely averages. Your personal pattern of usage throughout the seasons is also relevant when it comes to evaluating your HVAC’s longevity.
Use of R-22 Freon
The U.S. Government is phasing out Freon to conserve energy across the nation. As a result, Freon costs are soaring. If your AC unit uses Freon, you will at some point have to replace it to make the change to the new R410A refrigerant. This makes it a smart decision to replace your HVAC unit if it is breaking down or has issues related to needing more Freon.
If you experience frequent mechanical issues with your unit, then you no doubt see your repair costs taking a toll. Continually paying for repairs on an older unit doesn’t make sense. That’s when a replacement is in order.
5 Signs You Need to Replace Your HVAC Unit
You See More Dust Accumulate in Your Home
When your energy system operates efficiently, it typically improves the indoor air quality by eliminating contaminants such as:
You should also experience less humidity inside your home, as well. So, if you observe more dust accumulating in your home than usual, your HVAC unit may soon need to be replaced.
You Hear Strange Noises
A well-maintained AC unit and furnace normally runs quietly. If you do hear sounds like squealing or grinding, you should have your HVAC company technician look into the matter.
You Smell Unusual Odors
If you detect odd smells emanating from your AC unit, it could just be dust burning off. It could also mean mold is in your ducts or wiring is melting. You will need an appropriate inspection to determine its origin and then decide if you need to replace your system.
Your Energy Bills Are Increasing
While your energy costs may fluctuate from season to season, your energy bill should be similar during the various seasons. If your utility bill continues to climb, that likely means your HVAC needs servicing or replacing.
You Feel Uncomfortable in Your Home
If it is challenging to keep your home warm or cool, it could any one of the following things:
- You have an incorrectly sized unit or an improperly functioning unit.
- It may be a sign of aging.
- If your HVAC unit is not adequately heating or cooling your home, you should consider a replacement. It is not uncommon for older HVAC systems to struggle to maintain a consistent temperature in your home as they age.
Erratic temperatures in your home likely mean your AC unit isn’t powerful enough to cool your home, or you could have improperly installed ductwork.
Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for Expert Maintenance of Your HVAC
Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to ensure your energy system is in excellent condition and operating at optimal efficiency so you can stay cool and comfortable this summer. Our experienced team of highly trained technicians will work with you and exceed your expectations during HVAC repairs and AC unit replacements.
Apollo field technicians will work closely with you in deciding which HVAC system is the best, and tailor it to fit your unique needs and preferences! We are committed to delivering premium quality HVAC service, maintenance, products, and documentation in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and beyond!