The most expensive home appliance to replace is your HVAC unit. You know you’ll eventually need a new one. But you definitely want to be sure that it’s necessary. So, how do you know when it’s time? And why should you replace it?
The Most Common Reasons to Replace Your HVAC Unit
Here are 6 of the biggest reasons most homeowners find themselves replacing aging HVAC units.
1. Aging HVAC System
A certified HVAC technician may recommend an HVAC system replacement due to the age of the system. You should expect your unit to last at least a decade. The average HVAC unit has a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Regular preventative maintenance through Dale’s Heating and Cooling will extend the lifespan as long as possible before it is necessary to replace your HVAC unit.
Remember that if you have an older unit, heating and cooling service won’t make it work like it did when it was new. So, at some point, your best financial choice will be a replacement.
2. Low Energy Efficiency
The wonders of technological advancement mean that new units are much more energy-efficient than old units. If your energy bills are too high every summer you may consider an HVAC unit replacement. Experts suggest that a new energy-efficient system should save between 20% and 30% more energy each month.
To reduce your bills even more than just replacing your HVAC unit, you can ask a certified technician to look at your ductwork as well. The average HVAC system loses 20% to 30% of its energy to leaky ducts. Repairing cracks and seals in ductwork can help you save even more energy and money.
3. R-22 Leak
If your unit needs more coolant, it has a leak and needs repair. However, that repair might be much more expensive than you expect. R-22, also known as Freon, was the most common coolant used in air conditioners for many years. However, in recent years, the cost of R-22 has soared. Now, it costs between $80 and $120 a pound.
If a unit that uses R-22 develops a leak, you can expect a hefty repair bill. This includes repairs to the system and the cost of refilling the R-22. The repair can sometimes cost as much as an HVAC system replacement.
Avoid the temptation to ask your HVAC service company to “just top off the coolant.” Think of it like a car tire. A car tire that constantly leaks air is okay to drive on for a little while. But what you really need to do is replace the tire. Same with an air conditioner that leaks coolant. Repair or replace – don’t try to ignore the problem.
HVAC manufacturers stopped making units with R-22 in 2010, and production of R-22 itself will end in 2020, just a little over 2 years away. If you experience any problems at all with a R-22 system, it may be time to replace your HVAC system.
4. Your Home Has Changed
When your HVAC unit was installed, the size of the system chosen for your home was based on the cooling load of your home, or how much energy it takes to keep your home comfortable. An HVAC system that is too big for your home is actually a problem. It is inefficient, causing excessive wear and tear and shortening its lifespan. If your home has been upgraded to be more energy efficient, your existing system may actually be too powerful for your home, a signal that you may need an HVAC unit replacement.
5. Poor Air Quality
Your HVAC system doesn’t just cool and heat your home. It also manages your home’s air quality. It provides ventilation, moving air throughout the home. It manages humidity and filters allergens and harmful particles out of the air.
Poor air quality is connected to allergies, asthma attacks and respiratory problems. If someone in your home is suffering from any of these respiratory issues, your aging air conditioner could be hurting them. Consider investing an HVAC unit replacement. Excessive indoor humidity may also be a sign to replace your HVAC system.
6. Broken System
If you need frequent repairs – or one major, expensive repair – it may make more sense to your budget to just replace an HVAC system that doesn’t work.
If your unit can’t keep you and your home comfortable anymore, just call Dale’s Heating and Air for a free HVAC system replacement estimate.