Your air conditioner and heat pump make life a lot more comfortable, but they need occasional repairs just like anything else. However, you may be thinking of replacing your HVAC system altogether if it requires frequent or costly repairs. This isn’t always an easy decision to make. A new system obviously costs more upfront, but it’s important to consider how much repairs would cost you over time. At Air Pro Comfort Systems, we recommend considering the following six questions before deciding whether repair or replacement makes the most sense:
- How old is the unit? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends replacing air conditioners after 15 years and heat pumps after about 10 years. That is because newer units are more efficient and can save you as much as 20 percent on your monthly utility bill. With that kind of savings, you could reach the break-even point on your purchase within a few years.
- What does the warranty say? Your HVAC system may still be under warranty from the manufacturer, which means the company could cover some or all repairs. Should you decide to replace the unit instead of repair it, make sure you understand the terms of the new warranty.
- How much do you currently pay for repairs? Air Pro always provides you with a cost estimate before starting any repair work. If the repair cost is 50 percent or less than the cost of replacement, you may want to keep your current HVAC system for now.
- What are your typical operation costs? Be sure to hold onto your utility bills for several months to see if you can detect a pattern of increasing costs. Some variations are normal, such as a higher bill during times of heavy use. When your costs continue to rise despite normal usage patterns, it could indicate that the unit has become inefficient and you should consider replacing it soon.
- What type of coolant do you use? Older air conditioners typically operate on R-22 coolant, which the EPA plans to phase out and replace with R-410A. It limits the sale and production of R-22 now due to environmental reasons and plans a complete ban by 2020. That means it will become difficult to keep an older air conditioner running within the next couple of years.
- Does the unit distribute heat and cool air evenly? With an inefficient air conditioner or heat pump, some areas of your home feel comfortable while others are too hot or too cold. If you continue to experience this issue after several repairs, it might be time for replacement.
Air Pro is here to help no matter what your decision. We are happy to offer additional input to help you evaluate your options. Please contact us to request a repair estimate or to inquire about installation of a new air conditioner or heat pump. We can also advise you on several other products, such as a high efficiency air filter, programmable thermostat, or carbon monoxide detector.