Most people don’t look forward to replacing their HVAC system because it is expensive. However, the Department of Energy recommends replacing your heating and cooling system every 10 to 15 years, depending on it’s quality, where you live, and how often you use it. To extend the lifespan of your HVAC, you should have annual check-ups with a certified HVAC specialist twice a year: once in the spring, before turning on the air-conditioning, and once in the fall before switching over to heat. There are many things you can do on your own to help your system live longer, but eventually you will need a replacement because your current HVAC just won’t be able to operate efficiently anymore.
When talking about repairing or replacing your air conditioning unit, here are some thoughts to consider:
- The Age of the System – How old is your HVAC? While most systems have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, some may need to be replaced sooner, and others might last a little longer. This depends on how well your system is maintained. Having a check-up twice a year with a certified HVAC technician will ensure your system is running efficiently and help you be on the lookout for any problems that might come up. If you live somewhere where you run the system frequently, you will have to get a replacement sooner. If you don’t have regular maintenance done, the system will need to be replaced sooner also. Another benefit of having regular maintenance is the technician will get to know your system and give you some warning so you can begin to save up for a replacement. Most systems cost between $5,000 and $10,000 – between $25 and $60 per square foot. If your system is getting close to 10 years, it’s time to start saving up for a new one.
- Comfort – Another warning sign that a system needs to be replaced is that it can no longer keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you are constantly lowering the temperature in the summer, but never feel cool, it could be time for a replacement.
- Cost of Bills – Keeping track of your heating and cooling bills is a great habit to get into. It can help you to see trends in your spending and to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. Energy bills will naturally rise in the winter and summer months, because you are running the heat or air conditioning. However, December’s energy bill should look about the same every year. If this year’s bill is higher than last year, you should be aware. This could be a sign that your system’s efficiency is on the decline, and a new HVAC might be needed soon.
- Cost of Repairs – If a repair costs more than half of the replacement cost of a new HVAC, you should get a new system and not pay for the repair. In order to know what a replacement would cost, you might need to do some research. What is your price range? What is the square footage of your home? Talking to a certified HVAC technician at 360 Air Tech will help you answer these questions and give you suggestions on the best make and model to suit your needs.
- Air Quality – Humidity, mildew, and mold are all signs that you might need a new HVAC. These warning signs will usually appear during the summer. They can have a huge impact on the quality of air that you and your loved ones are breathing. Part of an HVAC’s job is to filter air and keep it clean. You should replace your filters about 3 times a year, but there are other things that can cause problems with air quality as well. After changing your filter, if the problem persists, schedule an appointment with 360 Air Tech and consider replacing your HVAC.
- Smells, Sounds, and Dust – Unusual smells when you come home may have to do with your HVAC system. It could be old wires burning or mold growing in the duct work. If you hear weird sounds, contact an HVAC specialist ASAP – HVAC systems should operate relatively quietly. Any grinding or squealing could be a symptom of a bigger problem. Dust build up can also be a signal of an underlying issue. Air should move efficiently throughout your home, and any lingering dust should be trapped in the HVAC’s filter. If you notice an unusual amount of dust, the system is probably not moving the way it should, and you might need to get a new one.
Buying a new HVAC system is a chore that no one really looks forward to. It can be expensive, it can be intimidating trying to pick out the right one, and it can be hard to decide if it really is time to get a new one, or not. Having a knowledgeable HVAC specialist to help you navigate this decision can take the stress out of the situation. Call 360 Air Tech today to discuss options for your home, and to schedule your next HVAC maintenance appointment.