There are several reasons you may find yourself needing a new HVAC system, whether due to age or damage. Some of the most common reasons are mentioned here:
The average air conditioning or heat pump system has an operational service life of 10 to 15 years. As air conditioning system energy effeciency levels continue to increase it may be worth thinking about system replacement around the 12 year point to save on energy costs. We have seen systems operate at extremely low energy effeciency levels (and at extremely high utility expense levels) for as long as 30 years.
Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. Calculating energy savings is easy using our energy calculator.
Add together the cost of any current repairs, any anticipated repairs costs and any expected energy savings over the next three or four years. Comparing this amount with to cost of a new system should help justify any decision you make. Don’t forget to factor in the new system warranty coverage.
One way homeowners can gage if their unit is starting to struggle is the smell it emits. Some smells, such as the smell of burning dust, can be a normal part of your HVAC function. You’re especially likely to smell this when you turn on your heater for the first time after the summer months.
However, other smells can mean serious problems. For example, if you smell gas, often described as similar to the smell of rotten eggs, this could mean a gas leak in your unit. In this case your unit should be turned off immediately and you should call a professional to examine it.
If your older HVAC system is emitting strange smells, this can also affect your air quality. During the winter, even in Central Texas, many homeowners keep windows shut tight against the cold. If your HVAC isn’t operating at peak condition, you could be shutting yourself inside with poor quality air. Things to look out for include excessive dust in your home and abnormal humidity. Both of these issues can indicate that your HVAC is not functioning properly, either due to age or damage.
The main purpose of your HVAC system is to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the winter and summer. When your unit starts struggling to maintain the desired temperature, it’s often a sign that it can no longer supply the required air to your home. This can be due to age or damage, either of which can lead to a need for replacement, especially if your unit is old. Having an HVAC professional access your unit can help you decide if damage is the case and the unit can be repaired, or if the unit has simply reached the end of its life.
When you start noticing your HVAC system being unable to maintain your desired home temperature, you may also notice your utility bills going up. If your unit is no longer powerful enough to condition and circulate air in your home normally, it will have to work harder to keep up. When the unit starts working harder than it should have to, it uses more resources. You’ll notice this change across your energy bills as they will begin to increase. If your unit cannot keep your home comfortable and starts costing you more money while trying, it’s usually best to replace it.
Here are some other questions that should be addressed when considering whether to repair or replace an air conditioning and heating system:
Improper equipment operation, duct problems or inadequate insulation could be the cause. Have these problems addressed when installing a new system.
Install a programmable thermostat or have a good contractor install one and instruct you on its use — to start saving energy and money while you are away or sleeping a programmable thermostats really do work — but only if you actually use the programming function.
Poor equipment operation, inadequate equipment, and leaky ductwork can cause the air to be too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer. AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning will perform a manual J load calculation on your have and have specific recommendations about how to reduce indoor humidity levels. New features available today can help better control indoor humidity problems.
Leaky ducts can pull particles and air from attics, crawl spaces and basements and distribute them throughout your house. Sealing your ducts may be a solution. Any duct problems should be addressed when replacing a heating or cooling system.
You could have an undersized duct system or a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment. Equipment manufacturers are constantly lowering outdoor condenser noise levels.
Learn more about your air conditioning options
Air Conditioning tips from Consumer Reports
Two must watch videos