Few would argue that having a working HVAC system is extremely important during the long hot days of an Arizona summer as well as the cold nights of winter. As long as the system is working effectively, few give it much thought unless it breaks down or starts performing poorly due to age or damage. Even fewer want to incur the costs of replacing an antiquated system.
If your system isn’t working as well as it used to, you might find that it’s due an upgrade. We’ll go through the signs you can look for, but if you read through them and still aren’t sure whether your system should be repaired or replaced, then you may want to consult a professional. A qualified HVAC technician like one of those employed by AHWA can help you decide whether it’s time to replace your HVAC system.
Signs That It’s Time to Upgrade Your HVAC System
Any one of these signs can indicate that you need to replace your old HVAC system with a new model. More than one would certainly suggest you are heading in that direction and should act before you are stuck with an inoperable system and waiting for a new one during less than ideal weather to go without temperature control.
1. Running Time Has Increased
As your system ages, you’ll begin to notice that it kicks on more often and runs longer. This may be because the coils or the blower motor are beginning to fail. You can have these parts checked and replaced to see if it corrects the problem. If your unit works fine after the repair, it may still have a bit of life left in it yet.
If not, there is a chance that your HVAC system is no longer producing and circulating air efficiently due to overall deterioration. This results in it taking longer for the temperature to reach your selected level.
2. Increasingly Noisy Operation
Older HVAC systems tend to get louder as they age. However, not all noises are just signs of aging and can instead indicate a bigger problem. Some examples are:
- Loudly humming blower
- The outdoor unit has grown louder when it kicks on
- Groaning and banging noises coming from the furnace
- Noises happening before the unit has even kicked on
While some of these noises may simply be a loose, damaged, or failed part that needs replacing, they could also be signs of problems with the motor, fan, blower, or other moving parts. If replacement fails to restore your unit to quieter function, it might be time for a new HVAC system.
3. Death by a Thousand Repairs
When your HVAC system has reached the point that you are making constant small repairs, it is only a matter of time before it can no longer be salvaged. If you have reached the point where you are replacing high-dollar items such as the compressor, motor, or coils, then you must ask yourself if the continued upkeep is worth it or if it is cheaper to just replace the whole system.
When you consider the overall cost of parts, labor and even perhaps lost wages from waiting for repairs at your home, then you have to ask if it is still worth it to keep your old system ticking. If the upfront cost of replacing your system is what holds you back, you have to weigh which is costing you more in the long term.
4. You Haven’t Kept Up with Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is important to keep an HVAC system working at peak efficiency. If you or those who owned your home before you have not kept up with scheduled maintenance, it may have well sustained far more damage than a system that has had proper upkeep. This may shorten its lifespan tremendously.
If you notice frayed wiring and conduit, pilot light hazards, or other visible damage, your system may even be posing a safety risk. Perhaps starting with a clean slate and maintaining your new unit more effectively is the best option.
5. Your Unit is Past Its Shelf Life
Every HVAC system is assigned a lifespan by the manufacturer. This is the amount of time they expect their unit to work as intended, providing heating and cooling at the levels promised when it was installed. If your unit has exceeded this lifespan with proper maintenance or if it is approaching the end of this lifespan without proper maintenance, it may be a good candidate for retirement.
HVAC systems that have reached this age are going to start needing more repairs, even if well maintained. This is partly because of wear and tear that leads to repairs and partly because parts become obsolete and cost more to obtain.
When considering the cost of the upkeep of an older HVAC system, you should also include the cost of operation. Innovations made in energy efficiency make newer models superior when it comes to reducing your utility bill. You might also find that the convenience of newer gadgets like Wi-Fi operation and programmable thermostats are a bonus in today’s smart homes.
- Replacing your HVAC system can provide you with several benefits:
- Lowered energy costs
- Updated technology
- A chance to make installation changes
- Increase in home value
How Expensive Is It to Replace Your HVAC System?
There are many factors involved in determining the cost of a new HVAC system. Things like the size of the space to be heated and cooled, local installation costs, changes you make in the existing framework and the unit selected can all affect the final invoice.
There are also things such as whether the unit base will need to be replaced (usually because the size unit has changed or the old one is damaged), insulation must be replaced, or electrical wiring must be run or changed out. Every installation is different and what factors into your costs is determined by your unique situation.
Typically, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for a new HVAC system. If you would like a better idea of what you are looking at, why not contact your local HVAC experts for an estimate suited to your requirements?