The question of whether to repair or replace an ailing HVAC system is not always an easy one. To make matters worse, system malfunctions often occur during the height of the cooling or heating months when you’re using your A/C, heat pump, or furnace the most. Consider the following factors to make the best decision for your situation.
The age of the HVAC unit needing repair is a very important factor for determining whether to replace or repair. The useful life cycle of heat pumps and air conditioners is 10 to 15 years respectively. Boilers and furnaces may provide efficient heating for up to 20 years with regular maintenance. If your HVAC system is within one-third of these numbers, an HVAC replacement may be your best option.
Comfort, Energy Bills, and Home Efficiency
Poor comfort characterized by uneven temperatures is usually accompanied with higher energy bills. Check for drafts around windows and doors. Attic insulation should be above floor joists. Sealing drafts and boosting attic insulation can reduce the burden on your ailing HVAC system.
Home-efficiency upgrades definitely help reduce energy bills and enhance comfort. If repair costs are less than 25 percent of a replacement system and your HVAC unit is within a reasonable age, upgrading home efficiency and repairing your unit makes sense.
Your HVAC system is actually a combination of mechanical, refrigeration, venting, plumbing, and electrical components that rely on each other for overall performance and efficiency. If your repair is a failed blower motor, for example, the cause could be airflow obstructions in the air ducts. An ailing compressor could be the result of dirt and mold insulating the evaporator.
The point is this: You may have more than one repair on your hands. Your HVAC contractor should thoroughly inspect your system for incidental repair causes and problems. Additionally, obtain a lifetime cost evaluation of your system, including repairs, and weigh it against the immediate energy savings you receive with an HVAC upgrade.
For help navigating the repair-or-replace dilemma, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve helped Portland residents with HVAC system solutions since 1976.