When to Replace vs. Repair Your HVAC System

Two HVAC repairmen working on a residential air conditioning unit

Most homeowners eventually find themselves stuck in the dilemma of whether to repair their HVAC system or replace it. Considering it’s one of the most valuable and expensive parts of your home, it’s important to make the right decision so you can stay comfortable year-round at your home in Anaheim, CA.

There are no hard and fast rules that let you know when you should replace versus repair your HVAC system. However, there are some factors you can keep in mind to help you decide. 

1. Age of Your System

In our experience, air conditioners should last for about 10-12 years, while furnaces should last for about 15-20 years. Of course, this is assuming that skilled heating and cooling technicians provide regular maintenance and services on the system.

If your system is nearing the end of its lifespan, then you’ve probably already had multiple home AC repairs done and have thought about whether you need to replace your system. At this point, it makes the most sense to invest in home AC replacement so you can stop pouring money into your HVAC system just to extend its life a little longer. When you upgrade to a new heating and cooling system, you can stop worrying about repairs and instead experience the benefits of increased efficiency (including huge annual cost savings!).

2. Frequent Repairs

Repairs aren’t always cheap, and those that are generally lack quality — either in the parts themselves or the work completed. If your system is frequently requiring repairs that are progressively becoming more expensive, then it would be best for you to replace the HVAC system altogether. 

It’s easy to think that repairs are cheaper to manage than the overhead cost of replacing an entire system, but that usually isn’t the case. Repairs, especially when needed on a regular basis, can often cost just as much as a total system replacement! If you’re still not sure about whether it’s time to keep up the repairs or replace your system, then consider the following HVAC rule: If your repairs exceed 50% the cost of replacing a new one, it’s time for a new system. 

3. System Efficiency

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ESEER) measures the heating and cooling efficiency of your HVAC system. You can find out the efficiency of your HVAC system by scheduling a service appointment, where a qualified HVAC technician can examine your heating and cooling system’s efficiency. A high rating means your system is efficient and working well; a low rating means your system is inefficient and working poorly. These measures play a huge role in determining how much your system costs to purchase and operate. When your ESEER is measured, you’ll have a better idea of where your system stands and how you should move forward. 

4. Uneven Temperatures

Are you experiencing weak or inconsistent airflow? Sometimes, this is due to a minor issue, such as a faulty blower motor, or even an excessively dirty unit. (When’s the last time you washed yours?) If it is a small problem, then a simple repair from your local HVAC company can easily restore the temperature inside your home. If your system is old or consistently struggling to do its job, you may need to start thinking about a new system. 

5. High Utility Bills

On average, half the energy in your home goes to your HVAC system. Without an efficient heating and cooling system installed, you’ll face high utility bills. One easy way to see if your system is running efficiently is by checking your monthly utility bills and comparing them to the previous year’s utility bills. If you notice a significant difference, then it’s time to install an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. Replacing the system will help you save enough money that you would have otherwise spent on numerous repairs and high utility bills. For added efficiency and lowered utility bills, you can even install a programmable thermostat. 

6. Loud Noises

Your heating and cooling system should be pretty quiet. If it isn’t, then there’s something wrong. Abnormal loud noises from your HVAC system are a clear indication that the system is working harder than normal to provide the required internal temperature. 

If loud noises only happen when the system starts or shuts down, it could indicate a problem with the compressor. If it runs erratically, producing rattling noises, it could be caused by debris that’s caught in the fan blades. No matter the cause of the loud noises, a qualified HVAC technician can quickly detect the problem and fix it.

7. Too Much Dust and Dirt

The quality of your indoor air is primarily affected by leaky ductwork. Leaks allow dirt particles from attics and crawl spaces to circulate in your home, which can be hazardous to your family’s health. If you notice an excessive amount of dust and dirt in your home, then you may need to call in your local HVAC company to seal the leaky ducts and ensure your family’s health!

Do You Know Where Your HVAC System Stands?

Your HVAC system isn’t just a part of your home — it’s a big investment that you count on every day. Sometimes, you can get by with a simple system repair. Other times, you need to replace your system and feel confident that it will work well for years to come. Still feel torn about what to do? Schedule a service appointment with our team today, or give us a call at 714-643-6507, where you can find out more about our services, and even join the Spicer Savings Club! Our team proudly serves all homeowners in Anaheim, CA and the surrounding communities. 

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