HVAC replacement can be the answer to a faulty HVAC system but is it necessarily the first step? The decision to repair or replace an HVAC unit is a big one. It is a machine that is very important to one’s comfort level and enjoyment of a home. HVAC replacement is not a decision that should be made on a whim, because these systems can be expensive.
11 Things to Think About When Considering HVAC Replacement
Instead of jumping to scrap it all, there are things that you might want to consider.
- Have your duct-work examined. Sometimes the problem isn’t with the HVAC unit, but in the ducts that transport the air throughout your home. An HVAC technician can conduct a blower test to determine if leaks are part of the problem. Inconsistent air flow from one room to another is a sign of a duct issue.
- Is your heat exchanger cracked? A trained technician can examine the heat exchanger to verify the existence of a crack in the heat exchanger. Signs of this sort of issue include a buildup of soot inside the furnace, high carbon monoxide levels inside the flue, and disturbances in the flames of the furnace. In many situations, this is a sign that the furnace should be replaced, because heat exchangers can be expensive.
- What do the repairs cost? With older HVAC units, the price of replacement parts and installation can be high, if the parts can be obtained at all. A good rule of thumb is that if replacing part costs top 1/3 of the price of a new unit, replacement of the whole HVAC unit is recommended.
- What is the efficiency rating of the current unit? To figure this one out, you’ll want to look at the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating, which compares how much fuel the system uses and how much heat it actually uses.
- What energy improvements could be made around the home? If a homeowner increases the energy efficiency of their home, that means less wasted hot air (or cool air, depending on where one is), and that means that a smaller HVAC unit might be able to do the job. Bigger isn’t always better.
- What sort of maintenance is required to help maintain efficiency? This is something an HVAC technician can help a homeowner to determine and implement.
- How can technology improve the way the HVAC unit operates? There are components available to homeowners like digital controls that let a homeowner have more co tell over how the system works and when; other improvements, like energy-recovery ventilation, can help an HVAC unit run more efficiently.
- What type of system is necessary? This may come down to preference. There are different kinds of heating systems (furnaces, and heat pumps are two options). These run on different power sources: some are powered by gas, some by electricity.
- What size system is necessary? A trained HVAC professional can perform a detailed load calculation to tell a homeowner exactly what size of unit is necessary. If it’s too small, it’ll won’t heat or cool the home adequately; if the unit is too big, a homeowner may find that their home is too dry; the HVAC unit will also work harder because it runs on shorter, more frequent cycles.
- Does the home need insulation? Insulation plays a big role in keeping a home comfortable, and an HVAC unit running properly. Without proper insulation, the heated air escapes, much like it does if a home has duct work that needs attention.
- How old is your HVAC unit? If the HVAC unit or furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s likely time to upgrade, and the reason is simple: the lifespan of a furnace or HVAC unit is somewhere around 15-20 years. It all depends on how well it is maintained, how often it runs, and some say the brand can even make a difference. Beyond that, there are changes over time in the manufacturing process and technology used inside the units that can make them more efficient and better at their stated purpose.Ask about the warranty for a new unit.
When a new HVAC unit is the decision, ask the manufacturer and the install technician about the warranty terms and what the warranty includes.
If you have an older HVAC unit, particularly in the 10+ year range, it is likely that replacing your current furnace and system with a newer model will increase the overall efficiency and save more money in the long run than repairing an aging system and helping it to limp along, to last a little longer.
Call Arco Comfort Air, LLC today for more information on HVAC replacement!