In the US and around the globe, the majority of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.
As climate change affects everything from temperatures to, being able to control the climate of our homes becomes increasingly important. Because it heats your home during the winter and cools it in the summer, your HVAC system is essential to your comfort.
But when is it time for a new HVAC system?
If you think you're HVAC isn't working as well as it should be, it may be time for a replacement. We'll tell you what signs to look for before replacing your old system - and why it's a good idea to do so. Keep reading for more.
5 Signs You Need a New HVAC System
If you notice any of these 5 signs, it's time to replace your old HVAC system for a new model.
1. Increased Running Time
When your system gets old and requires a replacement, you'll notice that it starts up more often. It might also stay on longer in order to reach the desired temperature.
It can be caused by bad coils as well as a failing blower motor. So check these parts before ordering a new installation.
If your coils and blower motor are fine, then these are signs that your HVAC system can no longer produce and circulate the air in your home efficiently. As a result, it requires more time to reach the desired temperature.
If, even after repairs, your system runs for a significantly longer period of time more often than it used to, it's time to replace the unit.
2. Loud Noises
It's normal for older HVAC systems to get louder with age. But when you notice that the following noises, it might be a sign that you need a replacement:
- the blower is humming louder
- the outdoor unit is making more noise
- the furnace is groaning and banging
- noise before the air conditioner starts up
Some of these noises can be explained by a loose part or a part that needs to be replaced. Others may be related to problems with fans, motors, blowers, and other moving parts. But if the odd noises increase or remain after repair, it's likely that it's time to replace your system.
3. Lots of Repairs
A lot of the individual parts in an HVAC system are repairable and replaceable. But all HVAC systems will eventually wear out and require complete replacement.
And when a compressor, motor, or coil fails, replacement is far more worth it than repairing. The cost of parts, as well as labor for repairing these essential components of your system, are high.
While the upfront cost of an entirely new system seems like a lot, the cost of constant repairs when one of these parts fails isn't worth it in the long term. That money is better invested in an entirely new system. And when you get that system, be sure to have a professional help you maintain it to extend the life of your investment.
4. You Don't Perform Regular Maintenance
Most people don't realize the importance of performing regular maintenance and checks on their HVAC system. Checking your HVAC system at least once per year ensures they're working safely and efficiently.
Maintenance helps you catch problems before they lead to bigger issues. It keeps your system in the best working order to increase its lifespan. If you don't perform regularly scheduled maintenance, it's more likely that the problem has reached a point of no return.
If you notice a dangerous pilot light situation, frayed or exposed wires and conduits, or other visible damage, your HVAC system may actually be posing a safety risk in your home.
5. Your HVAC System Is 10+ Years Old
If you maintain your HVAC system properly, it might last you a little longer than a decade. Without maintenance, a 10-year-old HVAC system is considered outdated, inefficient, and a good candidate for replacement.
Beyond the 10 year mark, you can expect an HVAC system to start costing you in repairs. They'll also cost you more in energy bills as they lose efficiency.
Even the most state-of-the-art technology from 10+ years ago doesn't come close to matching the energy efficiency of today's systems. Newer units also have digitized and programmable thermostats that are easy to use and help make your home smarter.
Why You Should Replace Your HVAC
The initial cost of an HVAC system is high, but there are many ways you benefit from a new system. In case you need some convincing on the initial investment, we've listed all the reasons you should replace your HVAC when the time comes.
It's inevitable that your HVAC system becomes too old and/or damaged to work the way it once did. When an HVAC system becomes inefficient, it uses more energy to reach the desired temperature. As it uses more and more energy to create conditioned air, you'll notice that your energy bills continue to increase.
If you're spending money on maintenance and your energy bills continue to rise, you need a new HVAC system. Replacing your old unit with a new HVAC system could save you anywhere between 20% and 40% on home cooling costs.
In the last 25 years, the air conditioning industry has shifted the refrigerants they use. While old HVAC systems used R-22 refrigerant (aka Freon), new units utilize R-410A (aka Puron).
Puron keeps your unit running cooler because it absorbs and releases heat more efficiently than R-22. In addition, R-410A is able to function at a higher pressure than R-22.
Air conditioning units have to be built specifically for R-410A refrigerant. Because of the benefits of this refrigerant, these units are less likely to burn out their compressors. They're also better able to withstand cracking and other stresses.
Replacing your old HVAC system with a new system means you'll get more reliability from your unit. As a bonus, these new units are better able to control dust, excess humidity, allergens, and mold. Ensuring that your family is safe and comfortable while you save on efficiency costs.
Get it Right
Replacing your HVAC system gives you a chance to get it right in terms of installation as well as the unit you're using in your home.
In terms of installation, if your current unit wasn't installed by a professional, it's possible that the unit and ductwork weren't done properly. That means that your HVAC system could be both faulty and dangerous.
Replacing your HVAC system gives you an opportunity to have it properly installed. That means that the measurements, angles, and electrical installation were all done correctly and to code. It gives you the best chance of having an operable and efficient system from the start.
Replacing your HVAC system also allows you to choose the right unit for your home. If your system was in before you moved into the home, it's possible that the previous owners tried to save money by installing a smaller unit than your home requires.
When your HVAC system isn't powerful enough to cool and heat your home, it's inefficient and costly. Replacing it with the correct size can save you money and make your home more comfortable.
Higher Resale Value
If you're planning on selling your home, remember that smart home buyers will look at your HVAC system when making an offer. They can ask for a significant discount on the asking price in exchange for having to repair an old or damaged HVAC system. Replacing your HVAC system prior to your sale can help you get more for your home.
New HVAC System Cost
The cost of a new HVAC system depends on a number of factors. Most importantly, it's dependent on the square footage of a home. But it can also vary depending on the local costs of installation in your area.
A homeowner can expect to pay anywhere between $6,000 to $12,000 for a new HVAC system. This could include the cost for a new furnace, ductwork, as well as an air conditioning unit.
That price may increase depending on the complexity of the setup, the efficiency of the system and the exact square footage of the home.
Additional Costs of a New HVAC System
The cost of the system itself is only 1 cost to consider when looking for a new HVAC system. You must also consider the following costs:
The outdoor unit of an HVAC system typically sits on a base. When replacing your HVAC system, you might consider replacing this pad. That's especially true in the case that the new unit is larger or smaller than your old unit.
To ensure your HVAC system operates as efficiently as possible, you'll need to have proper insulation in your home. The appropriate amount of insulation is dependent on the size of the room.
When installing your new HVAC system, you may need to upgrade the circuit breaker box, breakers, wiring, and service panel. You may need to hire an electrician to do this work if your HVAC installer isn't licensed to perform electrical work.
To make sure you get the most out of your HVAC system for the longest time possible, you'll have to schedule regular maintenance. The cost of maintenance should be considered with your initial investment.
However, most HVAC units come with a warranty or service agreement that covers problems for a specific period of time. Any costs incurred while under this time frame shouldn't be added to your initial bill.
At some point, those costs will come from your pocket. Think about buying an extended warranty plan to cover any problems that arise down the road.
Preparing to Install a New HVAC System
Before purchasing a new HVAC system and installation, there are a few things you can do to prepare. These will help offset the costs of your installation and being prepared will make the process run more smoothly.
Before an HVAC installation, perform the following check-ups:
- Inspect your HVAC ductwork for any issues. Inform your installer of these prior to installation.
- Look for holes in your ductwork or detachment. Inform your installer of these prior to installation.
- Look for dirt and debris buildup and have your ducts cleaned prior to installation.
The importance of proper ductwork can't be understated. Even the most efficient HVAC units can't do their job properly if there are problems with ductwork. It's not uncommon for ducts to deteriorate with age, so having them serviced ensures that your system is working to it's greatest efficiency.
Is It Time to Replace Your HVAC System?
You'll know your old HVAC system is ready to call it quits when you notice it's running for longer periods more often or it's making a lot of noise. If you're having to perform constant repairs or the unit is more than 10 years old, chances are it's time for a replacement. The cost of paying for repairs outweighs the cost of a new system when you've reached this point in your HVAC system lifespan.
And while a new HVAC system carries a large upfront cost, it can make your home more efficient and save you money in the long run. It also ensures your home is not only comfortable but safe. So when it's time to replace your HVAC system, contact us for more on information on how we can help you.