Your HVAC system may be the hardest working appliance in your home. Especially here in SWFL where the very hot seasons work your cooling system none stop. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC system, but nothing can make it last forever. It’s a big investment to replace your air conditioning unit, so we know you’ll want to give it plenty of consideration before making the decision to install a new system.
Signs it might be time to replace your HVAC unit
There will be tell-tale signs that you’ll start to notice happening with your HVAC unit when it’s nearing the end of it’s life. Not all of these are signs that it needs to be replaced. It may simply need to be repaired. If you start noticing the number of signs adding up, however, you are probably looking at a unit that is no longer worth repairing and it may be time to purchase a new unit.
Here are some signs that it may be time to replace your HVAC unit:
- Increased squealing/grinding noises or vibrations
- A significant increase in your energy bills
- An increase in your home’s humidity levels
- Moldy odors coming from the unit, indicating possible moisture build up
- Burning smells coming from the unit, indicating possible wiring issues
- Refrigerant or water leaks
- Problems with the thermostat
- An increase in need for repairs
- Hot air blows out of the unit
- The unit doesn’t switch off or won’t turn on
- Poor air quality because of poor AC ventilation
- You can’t keep your home a comfortable temperature
Repair or Replace HVAC Unit: Things to Consider
Several factors should be considered when deciding whether to repair your unit again or just go ahead and replace your current HVAC system. It’s a good idea to consider all of these things simultaneously because alone they may not warrant replacement, but together they point to the need for new equipment rather than just a simple repair.
The age of your HVAC unit
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units typically have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. A well-maintained system may last even longer than that. Your decision to repair or replace will depend on the age of your system and its maintenance history.
The cost of your energy bills
Have you have seen an increase in your energy costs that has either maintained a higher cost than usual for several months or continued to climb? You a probably dealing with an inefficient HVAC system. Your unit may be at a point where the repair will only keep it running, but not necessarily make it run efficiently again. Your utility bills could keep climbing with your old HVAC system.
How long you plan to live in your home
If you plan on being in your home for the foreseeable future, that may be a reason to go ahead and replace your unit rather than dumping more money into repairs. Especially if collectively, your answers to all of these considerations lean toward replacement. However, if you plan to move in the near future, you may not want to put the money into a replacement HVAC unit and instead take a hit on your sale price should you need to at that time.
The cost to repair
If you have an AC unit that isn’t very old, you may find it more financially savvy to repair instead of replacing the unit. But even an older system may still have some years left in it if it has been properly maintained. Unless the repair cost will be in the thousands, you may still be saving money to repair. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the age of your unit by the cost to repair it. If that figure exceeds $5000, it may be smarter to go ahead and replace the unit. This could mean that new HVAC system cost may be lower, in the long run, then the continued repair of the old system.
Your financial situation
Your budget is obviously a big item to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your AC unit. Maybe even the biggest consideration for many people. Depending on the type of system and the SEER rating (more on this below), the average cost of a new air conditioning unit is $5000. Depending on its energy efficiency, size, and complexity of ductwork, it can range from $3000 to $10,000. Even though replacement may save you money in the long run, you may find it easier to pay smaller amounts spread out over time to repair the unit and keep it running as long as possible. With affordability in mind, we do offer financing for HVAC purchase and installation.
Things to consider when choosing your new HVAC unit
When you’re going through the process of deciding to repair or replace your AC unit, you’ll want to look ahead at the unit you would choose, plus the installation costs. This is important to get a clear idea of the full scope of the decision. There are a couple of things to consider when choosing the right unit for your home.
The SEER rating is the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. The higher the SEER rating, seasonal energy efficiency ratio, the more efficient the system. The more efficient your system, the less energy it will use to operate and the lower your electric bills will be. A minimum SEER rating of 14 is required in the state of Florida. You can purchase a unit with a higher SEER rating, as they go all the way up to 25+. The SEER rating is a key determining factor in the cost of your AC unit.
Quality and warranty
You can visit our AC sales and installation page to see what manufacturers we deal with directly. You can research the quality and warranty that each brand offers and decide on the best air conditioner for you.
System control is an important component to consider when choosing an HVAC unit. Although these can be changed after installation, there are many options to choose from when purchasing your unit. An upgrade for your existing thermostat may increase not only the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, but also the life of the unit. Programmable thermostats can reduce the work of your unit over time, making it last longer.
More factors that can affect the price of your air conditioner replacement:
- Capacity/power of the system (1 ton, 2 ton, etc: this depends on the size of your home or the space you’re cooling)
- Efficiency (SEER rating)
- Modifications to your existing system
- Line set protection
- Installation costs
- Tax credits and rebates
If you’re still not sure whether you should repair or replace your HVAC unit
If you’re still undecided, the best thing you can do is ask a professional. Have one of our trained HVAC technicians come out and take a look at your unit to help you make a final decision. We can help you decide between doing the necessary repairs and installing a new air conditioner by giving you all the information you need with a free estimate.
Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians and sales consultants can answer all of your questions regarding repair versus replacement. We will answer all of your questions from unit price and installation costs to warranty and system lifespan information and everything in between. We will walk you through the entire process so you can make an informed decision at the right time for you to begin your HVAC replacement project. Contact us today for an appointment.