If your HVAC system is struggling or running inefficiently, don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to have your HVAC system inspected. With winter soon on its way, now is the perfect time to clean, inspect and determine if your system needs any repairs or possibly a replacement. If you’re unsure of what to look for, hire a professional to assess your HVAC system to see if it’s running at optimal capacity. If your system shows signs of excessive wear or consistently poor performance, it may be time to consider an HVAC replacement.
Signs That You Need a New HVAC System
Committing to a new HVAC system installation can be a major undertaking, but it is absolutely crucial if you want to save money on your energy bills this fall. The average lifespan of heating and cooling systems is between 15 and 20 years. When you get close to or surpass these numbers, it’s normal to see signs of decline in your system. It may be time for an HVAC replacement if you notice one or more of these signs:
Inadequate Air Temperature
Maybe you noticed over the summer that your air conditioner wasn’t putting out cold air, even on full blast. Now that it’s nearly winter, your furnace may not be emitting warm enough air to properly heat your home.
Poor Air Flow
If little or no air is flowing through your vents, one or more components may be failing. You may also notice that some rooms get warm while others remain cold. If this is a problem, you may need to clean or replace the ductwork.
In some cases, it’s not the heating or cooling units at all but the thermostat that’s causing the problem. This may be evident if some parts of your home remain cold while others are warm. Replacing the thermostat may solve the problem.
Loud or Odd Sounds
While a steady humming is normal when the HVAC system is in use, loud or unusual sounds are not. Listen for odd noises such as grating, squealing, or grinding sounds coming from your units. It could be a simple fix, such as a belt slipping out of place, or a more complex problem that requires an HVAC replacement.
Abnormal Odors from Vents
It’s normal to have a slight musty smell at the beginning of the heating season due to dust settling in the vents over the summer. However, if you notice foul or pungent smells, it could indicate that the wire insulation has burned out or there’s mold growth in the ductwork.
If you find yourself constantly making repairs on your HVAC system, it may be more cost-effective in the long-run to simply upgrade the system. A new HVAC installation can eliminate the need for costly repairs and the stress that accompanies them.
Rising Energy Bills
One of the biggest signs that your HVAC system needs to be replaced is increasing energy bills. As your furnace ages, it becomes less efficient causing your heat bills to skyrocket in the winter months. If you notice a pattern of increased energy bills, determine if the HVAC system is to blame.
HVAC Systems: Repair or Replace?
If you’re experiencing problems with your HVAC system, you may be wondering if you should make the necessary repairs or bite the bullet and replace it. While there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s important to consider various factors, such as the:
Age of Your System
Heat pumps and air conditioners have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while most furnaces last 15 to 20 years. If your HVAC system has reached its lifespan, expect to face more and more repairs. Once your system has surpassed its expected lifespan, it’s usually time for a HVAC replacement.
While your HVAC system may still be in good working order, it may not be very energy efficient. As your heating and cooling systems account for approximately 50 percent of your home’s energy use, it’s important to use energy-efficient equipment to avoid high energy bills. Older heating and cooling units are not as efficient as more modern units.
Cost of Repairs
While small problems may be better remedied with a repair, larger problems can cause financial strain. If the cost to repair your current HVAC system exceeds 50 percent of the cost of a new system, it may be more cost-effective to simply replace your current system with a newer, more efficient unit.
Aged Heating and Cooling Technology
Today you’ll find many new and innovative features that make heating and cooling your home easy and efficient. By upgrading your existing HVAC system, you can gain access to smart features, such as the ability to control your thermostat with an app on your smartphone. Using a programmable thermostat can also save you money as you can turn down the heat while you’re away and have it automatically turn up before you arrive home.
Equipment Under Warranty
If your HVAC equipment is under warranty, have it repaired rather than replaced. To determine if your unit is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer and provide the unit’s model number and serial number. You’ll likely find these numbers on the outside of the unit, directly inside the service panel, or on a tag attached to the unit.
Air Quality and Comfort
If your air quality is suffering or if there is someone in your home that has a respiratory illness or health condition, having an upgraded HVAC system is usually best. Newer systems do a better job at controlling humidity and temperature, which improves comfort and air quality in your home while reducing mold and mildew growth.
Professional Maryland HVAC Replacements
If you are tired of dealing with frequent repairs or are considering an HVAC replacement, have a qualified HVAC professional evaluate your current equipment. Most professionals will provide a comparative analysis to determine how your current unit compares with today’s high-efficiency models. An unexpected breakdown can be both costly and inconvenient, especially if it occurs during the dead of winter. If your HVAC system has surpassed its lifespan or is in constant need of repairs, consider replacing it with a new high efficiency system.
Other Useful Resources
Check out our guide: 6 signs Your Furnace Needs Attention
Check out our quiz: Furnace Repair or Replace?
Check out our guide: The Essential Guide to Furnace Replacement