It’s a question most Suffolk county homeowners dread, but all will likely face at some point: should I repair or replace my home HVAC system?
Sometimes the choice is easy – for example, if you have an older system whose performance has taken a nosedive in recent years. But more often than not the decision lives in a gray area that can go either way, and careful consideration is needed to make the right choice.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re on the repair/replace fence:
- How old is your system? On average, heating and cooling systems last 12-15 years if they’re properly maintained – but keep in mind that even well maintained systems gradually lose efficiency over time. If you’re having problems with a system that’s into its second decade, investing in a replacement is often smarter than paying for a significant repair. At less than that age, the decision is tougher, but here’s a rule of thumb: if a repair costs 50 percent or more of the replacement cost, it’s generally worth the upgrade.
- Have you maintained it properly? If you know your HVAC system has been properly maintained since day one of its use, it’s a better bet to last longer with fewer costly problems (a key reason we talk so often about routine maintenance on this blog). But remember: no amount of maintenance will make your equipment more efficient than it was when you bought it – or more efficient than a new heating or cooling system.
- What limits do my home and space put on my options? Your ductwork and the physical space available inside and outside your home could place limits on the kind of system you can use. Make sure you think about all parts of your system before you grow too attached to that option.
- Has my heating or cooling load changed? If you’ve added space to your house without changing your HVAC system, the next repair you need could be the result of your system overworking to keep you comfortable. If that’s the case, the problem is likely to happen again – another argument in favor of replacement.
- Is my current system safe? An older system carries a much higher risk of this problem than one that is newly installed. For example, older heat exchangers can crack or rust, causing carbon monoxide leaks in your home.
As you can see, when you weight the pros and cons of repairing or replacing older equipment with more efficient HVAC equipment, there are often – but not always –advantages to replacement.
Is repair ever a smarter option? Yes, if:
- Your system is less than 7 years old
- You’re planning to move
- You know that incentive options (a federal or state utility rebate program, for example) are planned but have not yet been put in place
- You simply can’t afford a new system
The bottom line: An HVAC system is a long-term investment, and like any investment, you need to do your research to find the best way to spend your money. When it comes time to make your choice, let Swezey help you make a smart one.
Not sure if you should repair or replace your furnace or A/C? We can help! Contact us today and we’ll walk through your options to help you find a solution that meets your needs and budget.