In every homeowner’s life, there will come a day when your HVAC unit will need a little extra TLC because of its age. After acceptance of the problem, you have to decide how to handle it so you can get back to living comfortably. Two solutions exist: either replace or repair your unit.
Your HVAC Unit is an Investment
Your HVAC unit is an investment and one that you and your comfort can’t afford to skimp out on. Buying and installing a new unit can be costly, but the payoff is far greater. However, buying a new unit when your current one is giving you problems isn’t the only solution. Sometimes a repair is all you need to get back to normal. We’ve outlined 7 factors to consider before you make up your mind.
When to Replace
Replacing your HVAC unit isn’t always the most glamorous choice, but it could be the more cost-efficient decision. Before you consider repairing your problematic HVAC unit, consider these four factors that may just mean you need a new unit altogether.
Your Unit is 15 Years Or Older
Unlike a fine wine, your HVAC unit isn’t getting any better with age. Units typically last for 15 years, but if you’ve been practicing routine maintenance (bonus points for you!), your current unit might just make it to 20 years. As your unit approaches the 20-year mark, it’s efficiency goes down and the cost to repair will go up. If your unit has seen 2 decades come and go, it’s time to upgrade.
Your Unit Uses R-22 Refrigerant
If you didn’t know, older HVAC units are engineered to use a refrigerant known as R-22. Newer HVAC units use R-410 refrigerant instead. R-22 refrigerant has been linked to ozone depletion and therefore, will be banned starting in 2020. Needless to say, it’s 2019 people! If your unit requires R-22, you will be spending serious money to replace it or risk it not being available in a year. Save yourself money and stress and just replace your unit.
There have Been Multiple Repairs Recently
If you see one of our technicians about as much as you see your family members, then it might be time to replace your unit. Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing our customers, but if our technicians are seeing your unit that frequently, your repairs are happening more and more often. Multiple repair bills add up quickly. You can give your wallet a break in the long run if you choose to replace your problematic unit instead.
When to Repair
Replacement is not always the answer, trust us! Your unit could be doing just fine and have one problem. That’s not always reason enough to ditch your current unit for a newer model. Consider these four factors before deciding to call it quits.
Your Unit is Less Than 10 Years Old
If your HVAC unit is less than a decade old, you still have plenty of useable years left in your unit. That also means the costs of repairs are significantly less than if you were needing to repair an older unit. Your problems could be stemmed from improper maintenance, block ducts, or other reasons. Don’t blame your unit so quickly, especially if it’s fairly new.
You Don’t Plan On Living in Your Home Much Longer
If you are planning to sell or relocate in the near future, then replacing your entire HVAC unit may not be a cost-effective choice. Making a repair now will ensure comfort until you are ready to move from your home. Besides, you wouldn’t want to get attached to the new unit and then leave it, now would you?
Energy Bills Are Consistent
If you haven’t noticed any spikes in your energy bills, then your HVAC unit is running as it should and it could just be a minor problem that needs a repair. Energy bills are a great place to start when trying to determine how efficient your system is running. Inconsistencies in energy bills, especially during the same time of year, will alert you if there’s a larger issue to take care of.
First Instance of a Problem
If your HVAC unit has been working as it should and not giving you a single worry until recently, you probably shouldn’t bother thinking about replacing. A small fix to get you and your unit back to normal could be all it takes. That saves you time and money!
Before You Make Your Decision…
Now that you know what to look for, it’s important to complete these tasks before deciding:
- Check that your HVAC problems aren’t the result of your lifestyle. Setting the temperature on your thermostat much lower than it needs to be or constantly running your system to battle the heat may be the reason for your sick unit.
- Ensure that your duct system is clean and free. Blocked ducts make it extremely hard on your system to run smoothly and cause it to work itself much harder than it should, leading to needing for repairs.
- You are taking steps to properly maintain your unit. Are you changing your filter regularly? If not, your unit may be doing just fine, but without proper maintenance, is falling victim to the natural wear and tear of just running your system.
- Schedule an inspection. Above all, self-diagnosing your unit won’t do you or your wallet any favors. Having one of our technicians complete an inspection of your HVAC system will confirm (or erase) any doubts you have about your current unit.
HVAC Installation and Repair with Crystal Air & Water
While these factors are helpful in determining which way to lean towards, we recommend having one of our technicians assess your current unit. At Crystal Air & Water, we will never try to upsell you or sway your decision making. We want to ensure that you are comfortable and spending less money on repairs or replacements if you don’t need them. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or if you’ve made up your mind, give us a call to install a new unit or repair your current one!