When your heating and air conditioning system fails, you must make a decision to replace or repair it. At times, this can be a difficult choice to make, as knowing what to do from a financial standpoint can be confusing. You can pour more money into something you already have money invested in, or you can invest in a new (hopefully more efficient) heating and air conditioning system.
The truth is that if you wait too long, poor performance and costly repairs can add up to even more. At the same time, you want to know you have received the most from the heating and air conditioning equipment you already have before making another large investment.
A faulty system will not only create a dent in your wallet, but it can also make for a dangerous and uncomfortable living space. In other words, if your system is clogged or cracked it can create a fire hazard and aid in the spread of harmful gases into your home’s environment. However, don’t worry too much, because these items are preventable if you remain proactive and address issues before they arise.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) contractors help homeowners determine the ultimate climate control systems that fit their needs. These service providers also recommend installs and options for the chosen heating and air conditioning solutions.
So, when is it a good time to replace your old heating and cooling system?
Well, one obvious answer is when the furnace begins to deteriorate. Seemingly at the point of deterioration you would need to find an alternative, but that is not the only sign.
Therefore, it is a good idea to watch for these other telltale signs that may indicate your heating and air conditioning equipment is failing, or you need a professional to repair it.
It is probably a good idea to call an expert in the field if:
Heating and air conditioning equipment is old
If the heat pump, air handler or furnace is older than 15 years, then you should seriously think about upgrading your system. Installing a new, more efficient model before the old one breaks down will save you from a lot of discomforts and stress in the future.
At the same time, even if your system is older than 15 and you think it still has some years left, it may not be performing at its top efficiency. The best idea is to replace it with a unit that features the ENERGY STAR label. This label is important because when properly installed, these systems can save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs.
An unpleasant smell is coming from the system
Always trust your sense of smell if it tells you something is wrong. If you are noticing an unpleasant smell coming from your heating and cooling system, it could be one of a few issues.
The most common problem is noxious gasses trapped in the flue. Besides the unpleasant odour, these gases can be fatal to humans and animals. Therefore, when you detect an unpleasant smell, call a heating and air conditioning contractor immediately.
Increasing energy bills
Since electricity and fuel are already expensive, the last thing you need is for your aging equipment to cost more to operate as it becomes less efficient. A contractor can compare monthly usage versus costs to determine if the heating and air conditioning system is becoming increasingly more expensive to run.
The heating and cooling systems manufactured today are over 60% more efficient than systems built ten years ago. Moreover, irregular maintenance and normal wear and tear can reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system. So, if you have a costly repair or worried about utility bill prices, you may want to go ahead and replace your system to save money in the future.
The savings you will receive in utility costs may provide you with a nice return on your initial investment. Also, if you finance the purchase, make sure you consider the savings on your utility bill each month in the purchase.
Anytime you replace an appliance, aim for an ENERGY STAR product. With the exception of boilers, they are up to 15% more efficient than non-ENERGY STAR products. ENERGY STAR boilers are over 5% more efficient than other models.
If your HVAC system has required repairs within the last two years, this can be a sign of aging equipment and it may be time to replace it. It won’t take long for you to realize a return on your investment for a new, more efficient system when you begin saving money on energy costs and repairs.
Strange noises coming from within
Any strange noise coming from your heating and air conditioning system should be investigated by a professional. When it comes to noises, one thing to watch for is an excessively running blower fan. Just keep in mind that all machines make their own characteristic and quirky sounds, so listen for things that are not normal.
You have a major home remodel planned
When you do significant remodels to your home, such as additions, you may need to upgrade your HVAC system. When you make your home larger, the original system may not be large enough to meet the needs of the bigger space.
You have constant air quality issues inside your home
If you’re having trouble managing the dust in your home, a simple solution is to change the filters more often. If that doesn’t solve the problem, schedule a professional to inspect your unit. it can also be a sign that the unit is too small for the air exchange or that the system is getting older. Learn how to improve your home’s air quality.
You are uncomfortable in your home
Is your home comfortable in every room? An efficient heating and air conditioning system will keep you and your family comfortable throughout the home. If you begin to notice levels of discomfort, consider replacing or repairing your system. Watch out for spaces that do not cool or warm up as they did before, drafts, increased amounts of dust or signs of mold.
Extreme humidity or dryness in your home
If you experience extreme dryness or humidity inside your home, you will more than likely benefit from upgraded equipment that features more advanced options.
You want to “Go Green”
Even if your existing HVAC system is working well, you may still want to replace it for a system that is more modern and efficient. The fact is that going green will help you save money on cooling and heating; so this is good for your wallet and the environment.
Possible safety issues
If your home has a gas furnace installed, you are always in danger of carbon monoxide entering into your home. Modern furnaces significantly reduce this risk with built-in features.
Reputable heating and air conditioning contractors can advise you whether you should replace or repair your existing HVAC unit. They will inspect system components such as refrigerant piping, ductwork, wiring, insulation, electrical service, flue piping and much more. Fixing failing parts before they completely fail will save you a great deal of money.
In the end, if you are ready to replace the heating and air conditioning system, make sure you hire a licensed contractor for expert maintenance and installs. They will evaluate your heating and cooling needs to help you get the most from your investment.