If one part of your HVAC system is down--or you're just experiencing intermittent reliability issues--should you replace the system or simply have a new component installed? Of course, restoring indoor heating or cooling ASAP is the primary immediate goal. Still, it's worthwhile to pause and consider the longer term consequences of replacing the HVAC system versus just one part of it. Here are some factors that go into making the right call:
How old is the system?
A central A/C typically last 12 to 15 years, a gas furnace 15 to 20. If the system is nearing the end of its expected service life, replacing components to keep it running is not a financially viable decision. The cost of individual parts and labor is rarely worth it when you'll need to replace the entire unit sooner rather than later.
What's wrong with it?
Certain parts of a heating and cooling system are so expensive that replacement is frequently not indicated. In a gas-fired furnace, replacing a defective heat exchanger (a costly and critical safety component) may exceed reasonable limits to keep the unit in operation. For a central air conditioner, a defective compressor is often the deal-breaker that indicates it's time for an an all-new unit, not a component repair or replacement.
How efficient is it?
If you're still operating an aging air conditioner or furnace with the energy efficiency specs of a bygone era, it's probably costing you more money than it should every time you turn it on. Instead of repairing defective parts, cut your future losses by upgrading to a new system that complies with higher 2017 efficiency standards and delivers lower operating costs.
Are you planning to keep the house?
If you are, think of future costs now. A new HVAC system will cost less to operate in the future, be less likely to require repairs anytime soon and comes with a more comprehensive warranty that will cover most issues if and when they arise.
For more help deciding when its time for a new HVAC system, contact the professionals at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).