UPDATED 4/4/2018 It’s never an easy decision when contemplating whether you should have your HVAC system repaired or replaced. For most homeowners, repairing the system seems like the cheaper option. However, that may not be the right choice. These are the questions you should ask yourself before you decide if you should repair or replace your unit.
First, determine the age of your HVAC system. While systems can outlive their life expectancy, your unit’s age is a great starting point.
On average, a heat pump lasts between 12 and 15 years. An air conditioner will run for 15 to 18 years. A furnace has a higher average life expectancy, between 18 and 25 years.
The older it is, it’s more likely you’ll have multiple repairs. They can get expensive fast.
While the average lifespan of your unit matters, there are exceptions to the rules. That’s why you should also consider how the system was installed and designed if it’s original to the home, and how well it’s maintained. These factors affect the longevity of your unit.
For example, a poorly designed or installed HVAC system may only last six years. However, a properly maintained one could last over 20 years.
Secondly, consider the repair cost. What is your contractor recommending to fix the system? Consider the repairs needed to get the system back up and running and the long-term suggestions. When the repair costs approach 50-percent of the value of the cooling or heating system, replace the system.
If the repair costs are less than 50-percent, consider the third factor. How long do you plan to live in the home? Some buyers are turned off by older systems. Do you want to spend the money when you’re moving, hoping that you’ll recoup it on the sales price? Or do you want to take the chance that someone will still buy the home with an older HVAC system?
Fourth, evaluate whether the system runs efficiently. Are your utility bills going up? A system nearing its life expectancy is much less energy efficient. For example, a new A/C compared to a 12-year old unit will save the average homeowner 70% more on their utility bill. Why? It’s cooling your home 80% more efficiently.
The same holds true for your heating system.
While many contractors will sell you on the efficiency of a new heating or cooling system, Minnick’s takes a different approach to Maryland HVAC replacement. Your unit won’t achieve the advertised efficiency if it’s not compatible with your home. So, we check the ductwork, so you know its sized correctly. Adjustments may be necessary to obtain the efficiency.
Size matters and you may not realize this unless you ask your HVAC contractor about it. A bigger, more efficient unit isn’t always better. At Minnick’s, we take a whole-home approach to comfort. Our experience shows the HVAC unit needs to work with the other systems in your home. If your ductwork or insulation is inefficient, your HVAC system can perform to expected standards. Even if it’s the most efficient unit on the market. If you’re replacing your HVAC unit, here’s how to make sure it lowers your costs.
Fifth, have you done any home improvements or are you planning any? Insulation, new windows, doors, sealing, and roofing affect your HVAC system. It may be oversized or undersized for your home with the changes. In that case, it may be time for a replacement.
Sixth, do you feel you could be more comfortable at home? An HVAC replacement makes more sense if there are hot and cold spots in your home or your system makes a lot of noise. That way you can achieve the comfort you want with a modern system.
Many homeowners worry about the cost of repairing their system versus replacing it. When researching your options, you should figure up how much it would cost to have the unit repaired each year (or even several times a year) and then figure out how much it would cost to replace the particular unit. Properly maintained units last 15-20 years.
Replace your HVAC system with confidence. Minnick’s offers ENERGY STAR Verified HVAC Installation (ESVI). A third party verifies installation, guaranteeing your comfort.
We also offer financing making it possible to comfortably purchase a new HVAC system in Montgomery, Howard, and other Maryland communities.