Sometimes the easiest way to find out if you need a new heating and cooling system is by asking yourself how old it is. HVAC units that are more than 10 years old are expensive to repair and maintain. These systems use a chemical called freon, or R-22, to heat and cool. R-22 is no longer used in modern-day HVAC units because it’s been proven inefficient. It is also dangerous for your home and the environment, so it was traded for a safer agent.
Additionally, most HVAC units only have a life span of 10 to 15 years, depending on the kind of system. However, it more than often depends on how well they are taken care of. Unless they’ve had regular and proper HVAC maintenance twice a year, 15 years is out of the question. Even if it still runs, it is likely not working as efficiently as it should and will cost you hundreds of dollars more a year to operate. This does not include the stacks of bills you will be throwing down the drain on unnecessary repairs.
Our suggestion is that you consider the age vs. cost ratio when thinking of replacing HVAC systems that have not reached their life expectancy. This trick is simple. First, consider the age of your machine. HVAC replacement is a wise decision for units 7 years or under if yearly repair costs and potential savings from a more efficient model equal 50% of what it would cost to replace. This is especially true if you switch to a model that is more efficient than your current unit.
Replacing a system ten years or older is even easier to justify. At that point, you should consider a replacement if you spend more than $500 in a year on repairs or new parts. Logically, $500 is a sizable down payment for a new machine, and the upgrade in efficiency will make up the cost on its own.
You can keep track of efficiency by simply monitoring energy consumption. It is normal to see expense variations throughout the year. However, if you notice considerable spikes in energy use from one summer to the next with no real explanation, it is safe to assume it is time to consider an HVAC replacement.