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Repair or Replace? How to Tell Which Is Best for Your HVAC System

May 7, 2020

Eventually, every homeowner reaches the point where they have to decide whether it’s better to continue repairing their HVAC equipment or whether it’s more prudent to replace it. However, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that makes it an easy decision. Here are a few things to consider that will help you determine whether to repair or replace your Norfolk, VA HVAC system.

Age

With our local weather conditions, having a reliable air conditioner and furnace is essential to protecting your family’s comfort throughout the year. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors reports that the life expectancy of a central air conditioner is seven to 15 years. A furnace can last up to 25 years, whereas a heat pump falls in the range of 10 to 15 years.

Regular maintenance goes a long way toward extending the lifespan of your HVAC equipment, and our service technicians’ skill in identifying problems in their infancy means the repairs typically are small and manageable. Still, even with proper maintenance, as your system ages, it becomes more prone to needing repair.

It’s a good idea to start planning for replacement when your HVAC equipment is within two or three years of its life expectancy. Early planning reduces the chance of being caught unaware by a sudden and significant malfunction. It also reduces the stress on your checkbook and ensures that you have the finances to support the cost of replacement.

Efficiency

Even though you might not be experiencing major problems with your HVAC system, and it’s still within its expected lifespan, it doesn’t mean your system is operating efficiently. Consistently climbing energy bills without a drastic change in your family’s lifestyle are a good indication that your equipment has lost its efficiency.

The HVAC field continues to evolve, and with that evolution comes innovation. Newer systems are much more energy-efficient than even 10-year-old HVAC equipment. According to energy.gov, you can save between 20% and 40% in fuel bills by upgrading a 10-year-old model. Replacing your HVAC system is a significant investment, but, long-term, a new system that consumes less energy can ultimately be less expensive, and the better option for your household budget.

Repairs And Service

Air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps consist of hundreds of parts. From large blower motors to tiny sensors, HVAC systems are intricate and complex. Normal wear and tear mean that you’ll need regular service and repairs over the years to keep all of these pieces and parts operational.

Repairing broken HVAC equipment doesn’t always make sense. Inevitably, the frequency and cost of repairs will continue to escalate. As a homeowner, when do you say enough is enough? The answer depends on the cost. When your service and repair expenses equal half of the price of a new system, then you’re better off replacing your equipment vs. continuing to make repairs.

Incentives

In some cases, federal, state, and local tax incentives might tip the decision in favor of HVAC replacement. Energy credits on qualified equipment, combined with manufacturer rebates, can make replacement an attractive option.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated the phaseout of the refrigerant Freon, also known as R-22. If your AC unit uses R-22, it will become more challenging and costly to repair refrigerant leaks due to the scarcity of R-22. For air conditioners that use Freon, replacement eventually becomes the only course of action.

Renovations

If you’ve taken steps to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, you might benefit from HVAC replacement. A smaller unit could deliver complete comfort at a lower cost.

Solving the repair or replace puzzle doesn’t have to be guesswork. Our team of professionals provides reliable advice that helps you make an informed decision. When it comes time for replacement, we guarantee a quality installation, and we stand behind our work 100%. To learn more about how a new energy-efficient HVAC system can improve your family’s long-term comfort, check out our installation and replacement services, or give us a call.

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