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Choosing Between HVAC System Repair or Replacement


When you have a home air conditioning or heating system that isn’t working properly, you’re faced with two options; you must choose between HVAC system repair or replacement. Many HVAC users may not have the resources to immediately replace a malfunctioning furnace, heat pump or air conditioner. In those cases, the best option may be to fix the system and try to get another season or two’s worth of service from it.

In other cases, the condition of the HVAC system may leave homeowners with no choice. If they intend to have a comfortable indoor environment, complete replacement may be necessary, even if it strains the budget. For those who are having the HVAC system repair or replacement debate, here are some important factors that can influence whether you should fix an ailing HVAC system or replace it entirely.

System Age

As a rule, HVAC equipment is designed to provide several years of reliable service. Typically, a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner will last approximately 15 years, or even longer if the system has been well maintained. If your air conditioner or heat pump is 10 years old or more, or your furnace has passed the 15-year mark, it’s entering the period when replacement is going to be more likely.

Keep in mind, though, that age isn’t the only criteria you should use to determine whether to replace your heating or cooling system. If the equipment still works properly and is in good condition, you’ll likely be able to get another few years of use out of it.

If your older HVAC system starts showing some of the following signs, however, you should carefully consider whether its better to repair or replace the equipment.

System Reliability

If you’re finding that your HVAC system is breaking down more often and needs more frequent repairs, it’s signaling that you may need to replace the equipment sooner rather than later. Any HVAC equipment will eventually need repair, but if the number of repairs or severity of the breakdowns is increasing, consider putting in a new heating or cooling system.

Replacement is a good idea if a single repair has amounted to 30 percent or more of the cost of a new system or if repair costs have totaled 50 percent or more of the price of a new system.

System Efficiency

Some older air conditioners and furnaces have significantly lower efficiency levels than some of the newer models. HVAC system efficiency that’s dropping off significantly is another signal replacement may be best. One of the most reliable signs of decreased efficiency is a sudden, unexplainable increase in your heating or cooling bills that can’t be attributed to extra use or weather conditions. When considering HVAC system repair or replacement to address efficiency issues, remember that you can find newer systems that operate at extremely high levels of efficiency, heating or cooling your home for a substantially lower price.

Expected Length of Stay in Current Home

Homeowners who plan to stay in their current home for several more years may benefit from replacing the HVAC system instead of repairing it. Even those who are planning to sell their homes soon may see the positive side of replacement when they realize that a new HVAC system can significantly increase the selling price of a home.

Refrigerant Issues

R-22 refrigerant, which is commonly used in older systems, is undergoing a phase-out in favor of more environmentally friendly refrigerants, such as R-410A. If your home’s older equipment uses R-22 refrigerant (which it likely does), it will keep getting more and more expensive to refill this necessary fluid as the phase-out continues, and R-22 is eventually taken out of production in 2020.

For more information on HVAC system repair or replacement, as well as Airwise Heating & Air’s residential heating and air conditioning solutions, contact team of home comfort professionals at (817) 444-0090. We proudly serve homeowners throughout Tarrant County.

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