Deciding whether to repair or replace the HVAC system in your Taylor, Texas, home or business can be difficult. A new HVAC system is expensive. The system you choose will impact your monthly utility bills. Choosing the wrong system or preemptively replacing your existing system could have impactful financial consequences in the future. To that end, our team at Accurate Home Services compiled a list of questions you should ask a professional when deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC system.
How Long Does an HVAC System Last?
There is no cut-and-dry answer. On average, the lifespan of an HVAC system is between 15 and 20 years. However, cheaply manufactured units that are poorly maintained could completely fail after just six years. A high-quality HVAC system that receives regular maintenance and repairs could last up to 20 years. In places with warmer climates, like Texas, the air conditioner gets a lot of use, and it could fail prematurely. Conversely, the furnace gets a lot of use in colder areas like the north and may only last 10 or 12 years.
If your HVAC system is reaching the end of its recommended lifespan and you notice several issues, it may be time to replace the unit. However, if the unit is relatively new, with just one or two minor repairs, it’s usually more cost-effective to have the repairs done and replace the unit in the future.
How Expensive Will the Repair Be?
Cost is a significant factor when determining replacement over repair. If the problem is a simple component that needs to be cleaned, repair is typically the best option. However, suppose the entire outside unit of your air conditioner is malfunctioning, and you need to replace the condenser coil. In that case, the repair cost might make a replacement a more viable option. A good rule of thumb is that if your HVAC system is reaching the end of its lifespan and you will spend more than 50% of the value of the HVAC system on a repair, it’s best to replace the unit.
How Well Has the Unit Been Maintained?
If you are the only one who has owned the HVAC system, then you know the answer. However, if you moved into a home where the previous owner installed the existing system, you may need an HVAC technician to look the system over and answer this question.
It is recommended that your HVAC system receives an annual checkup. This could include maintenance on the air conditioner in the early spring and maintenance on the furnace unit in the early fall. In addition to checkups, your HVAC system needs to have its filters cleaned every one to three months, especially if you are in an area with excessive dust and debris.
Repairs may be a good option if the unit has been well-maintained. However, if the unit has not been maintained regularly, the minor issues you see now are likely just the tip of the iceberg. A poorly maintained older unit is better off replaced than repaired.
Is the HVAC System Energy Efficient?
Your air conditioner should have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. This outlines how efficient the AC is. The higher the rating, the better the unit is. It measures the amount of energy the air conditioner consumes compared to the cooling power it offers.
Since 2015, the United States has required air-conditioners to have at least a SEER of 14. Some of the modern units have a SEER rating of 25. An older air conditioning unit likely has a SEER rating that makes them inefficient to operate. This is especially true if you consider that air-conditioners have lost their energy efficiency over the years.
When determining whether to repair or replace an HVAC unit, consider the SEER rating of your air conditioner. Replacing an older unit with a cost-efficient one saves you money in the long run and benefits the environment.
What If the HVAC System Is Mismatched?
If you purchased your home from a previous owner, they likely already had an HVAC system installed. Maybe they replaced the air conditioner but did not replace the furnace. Or perhaps they replaced the outdoor unit of the AC but did not replace the indoor unit. Now you have a mismatched set. It functions, but many air-conditioners operate poorly with a mismatched system. This can cause issues with energy efficiency or make the unit harder to repair. Installing a mismatched system may void the warranty. In these cases, when problems arise, it is almost always best to replace instead of repair.
What If an Addition Was Added to the Home?
When HVAC technicians install an HVAC system in the home, they do it based on the size of the house. The system that you had before the reconstruction may have been adequately sized, but now that you’ve added on additional space, you may find that you are no longer satisfied with the level of comfort your HVAC system offers. Couple that with the fact that repair issues have arisen, and it is likely best to replace the system with an appropriately sized one. Regarding an air conditioner, having a properly sized unit keeps your home comfortable and helps minimize humidity. Excessive humidity in the home can lead to mold and mildew growth, creating additional problems.
Is There New HVAC Technology?
Absolutely. Think about how technology, in general, has advanced over the last decade or two. VCRs, CD players, and large computers have been replaced with Blu-ray, MP3, and tablets. The same level of advancement has been seen in HVAC technology. If you have an HVAC system from 15 years ago, it is compared to using a VCR to watch movies in your home.
Several new functions include communication systems, variable speeds, smart thermostats, two-stage technology, and interactive controls. These might seem unnecessary. However, HVAC systems are now built to be environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and user-friendly. If you want to take advantage of the latest HVAC technology and your unit suffers from several malfunctions, replacing your HVAC system with a new one may be a good idea.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether you will replace or repair a malfunctioning HVAC system is up to you. However, it is hoped that the above questions can help you make the right decision for your long-term comfort.
Work With a Top-Rated Taylor, Texas, Company
At Accurate Home Services, we proudly offer premier HVAC services in our area. Additionally, we are a trusted electrical company. We make home comfort easier than ever. We have been in business since 1992 and are proud to be right on target regarding professional service and the value offered for the money you pay. We are pleased to employ NATE-certified technicians. We are Better Business Bureau accredited and have several certifications proving the quality of our work.
Our services include HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance. We install electrical panels, general electrical repairs, ceiling fans, and lights. Our indoor air quality service includes air handlers, duct cleaning, and installing wireless thermostats. Contact Accurate Home Services today and get professional service performed with a personal touch.