An HVAC system is a lot like a car. There comes a point when it will cost too much to salvage the car and it makes more sense to get a new one. The same goes for your HVAC system. You can continue to repair it and watch those repair bills rack up, as well as your monthly energy bill due to the inefficiency of an outdated unit, or you can put that money toward a new system. But how do you know when to make that call? Consider these factors:
Age of the System
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the typical lifespan of an air conditioner is 10-15 years, while the typical lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years. If your air conditioner or furnace is over the expected lifespan or quickly approaching the maximum, it’s time to consider purchasing a new unit.
Cost of Repairs
A new air conditioner can cost between $3,000 and $7,000 to replace, depending on the specific model you choose and where you live. That being said, there is a formula you can use that will help you determine if it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace. Multiply the cost of the repairs by the age of your unit in years. If that number exceeds the cost of a new unit, it’s time to replace it!
Replace if: Cost of repairs x Age of unit > Cost of new system
Repair if: Cost of repairs x Age of unit < Cost of new system
Efficiency of Unit
It is common for machines of any kind to become less efficient over time due to wear and tear. If your unit is excessively noisy or shuts off at random times, those are likely signs that your unit is having trouble keeping up to the demands of your home.
Recent advances in A/C technology have greatly improved energy efficiency. Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is 10 or more years old. Energy Star estimates that buying a new, energy-efficient unit could save you 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.
If you’ve noticed that your energy bills continue to increase, it may be due to an inefficient system. Generally speaking, the higher the SEER rating on a unit, the more efficient it is. When shopping around for a new unit, you’ll want to consider purchasing a unit with a higher SEER rating than what you have now.
Frequency of Repairs
One repair feels a lot better than buying a whole new unit, but repairs can start to add up over time and may eventually total more than the price of a new unit. If you’ve had frequent repairs (over three) in the past few years, another repair may not cut it. But if this is the first repair you’ve needed in years, your unit likely still has a lot of life left and just needs some TLC.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Whether you know you need to replace your system or you’re still trying to decide the best way to go, our team can help you take the next steps toward achieving total comfort for your home with a solution that makes sense for your budget. Contact us today to talk to us about your needs or to request an appointment!