How To Decide Between Replacing And Repairing Your HVAC System

Anica Oaks

One of the most important components of keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, your HVAC system, will need regular maintenance just like anything else. However, the time will eventually arrive when a problem occurs that has you wondering if further repairs can be successful or if it’s time to purchase a new system. To help you make this important decision, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Does it Breakdown Frequently?

If you find you are always having to call an HVAC repair technician to your home to fix a new problem or the same problem occurs over and over, it’s probably time to replace your HVAC system. After all, with all the money you are spending on repairs, chances are you could take that money and buy a new system.

HVAC systems typically last 15-20 years so when considering if the cost of repairs compared to the cost of a new system, look at the frequency of your breakdowns as well as the cost associated with those breakdowns. One way to do this is by evaluating the cost of repairs over the last couple of years. Then use that information to forecast the next 10-15 years. If the cost of repairs over the next 10-15 years is within 80% of the new HVAC system, then it is likely you need to replace your entire system.

Is Your HVAC System Old?

If your current HVAC system is between 15-20 years old, then it is coming to the end of the typical lifespan. Depending on your environment, there may be more wear on your system than that of the same model in a mild environment, which can decrease the lifespan of your system. 

However, before replacing your aging system, have your technician check it over thoroughly. In some cases, an older system may just have a part or two that are worn out and can be easily repaired. In those cases, some of your HVAC will be old while other parts of the system will be brand new and make it work perfectly.

Is it a Safety Hazard?

The number one reason to replace an HVAC system is that it poses a safety hazard. Some older systems were built with components that have been updated over the last few years to be safer. In those cases, having a newer system may increase the safety of your home and family. In addition, some parts may break and cause safety hazard, which either need to be repaired, or in many cases, replaced.

When you call an HVAC contractor to look at your system, one thing they will be paying close attention to is whether or not the problems they find pose a safety hazard. For example, if the technician discovers your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, replacing the system will be a necessity since this can lead to a carbon monoxide leak within your home that could prove fatal.

What Can You Afford?

HVAC systems include a lot of engineering and are responsible for much of the environmental controls you have inside your home. Because of this, they tend to be one of the more expensive appliances in your home. When considering whether or not you can afford to replace the HVAC system, don’t just consider the cost to repair over a long period of time compared to the new system, also consider different ways of paying for the system. 

When considering the cost of a new HVAC system, you may have considered the cost as one lump-some that needs to be paid up-front. In many cases, there is a payment plan or option to use a credit card to pay for the system. Though this may make it easier to pay in smaller sums, there is also typically an interest fee for doing a monthly payment plan. That fee can add up so it is important to factor that into your budget as well.

If your system has not been experiencing frequent breakdowns and the problem does not pose a safety hazard to you and your family, getting the problem repaired might be a smart option. However, if you have a persistent problem that continues to require repairs, opting to buy a replacement system may save you money in the long run and will give you peace of mind.

Whether it’s only a small part that needs to be replaced or a major issue that requires replacing your entire HVAC system, always put your trust in technicians and contractors who are experienced and knowledgeable about your HVAC system.