Should I Replace My Home's Heating & Cooling System? Questions to Ask Yourself

Many people will wait until their furnace or air conditioner completely stops working before they start thinking about a new one. However, heating and cooling systems usually die at the most inopportune times, which can leave you feeling stressed and rushed into making a decision on a new HVAC system. It’s a better idea to pay attention to your system and start looking for signs that it’s struggling or nearing the end of its lifespan. This can help you do a little proactive planning and saving that can take the sting out of a purchase like a new furnace and air conditioner.

Before we begin, as an HVAC company, we can’t stress enough the importance of regular maintenance. Just as your car’s vital components need to be regularly checked to avoid failures or breakdowns, your HVAC system must be regularly maintained as well. This way, you can fix small problems before they become large ones, and you can be aware of large problems so you can plan ahead for major repairs or replacements.

When making decisions about your furnace and air conditioner, several factors should be considered. Ask yourself the following questions to assess whether it’s time to replace your HVAC system:

when to replace heating and cooling system in your home
1.   HOW OLD IS YOUR FURNACE AND AIR CONDITIONER?

Most people become aware of the age and condition of their HVAC system when it starts breaking down. One of the most significant factors to consider is the lifespan of your HVAC system -- how many years it’s been working and how many more years it will keep working. If it was properly installed and maintained, on average, an HVAC system can last 15-20 years. Age isn’t everything, though. A system that has been neglected or overworked can break down much sooner. If your system is nearing the end of its lifespan, this might be a big factor in your decision to either repair or replace.

replace furnace - how old is your furnace
2.   DOES IT COST MORE TO OPERATE?

Just like most industries, the HVAC industry has benefited from advancements in technology. Things like more energy-efficient equipment and smarter thermostats help you save money on heating costs. Even a furnace or air conditioner that is only 12 years old may be costing you more than it should to heat or cool your home. With that in mind, how much could you save each month by upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system? And is that enough of a reason to upgrade at this time? 

Additionally, if you’ve noticed that your system is less efficient than it used to be, meaning you’ve noticed that it costs more to operate, this could also be a sign of failure. A less efficient system is one that is trying harder to do its job, which leads to increased energy bills. It could be that internal components are wearing down or not working like they should, making you pay more than you used to. In this case, it’s a great idea to get it checked out before there’s a total system failure.

replace furnace - high utility costs
3.   HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR SYSTEM BREAK DOWN OR NEED REPAIRS?

Do you feel like your furnace or air conditioner is always breaking down? Have you found yourself repeatedly calling an HVAC technician to repair yet another issue with your system? If so, over time, ongoing repairs can really add up — and that means continually performing repairs on an older furnace just doesn’t make sense.

Investing in a newer system won’t only save you the headaches of frequent visits from an HVAC technician, but it can also save you money in the long run, too.

furnace replace - how often is furnace breaking down or needing to be repaired
4.   WHAT IS THE COST TO REPAIR YOUR FURNACE OR AIR CONDITIONER?

The older your heating and cooling system gets, the higher the likelihood of breakdowns. Just like the more miles you put on your car, the more wear and tear is put on the parts. Your HVAC system is the same: the more hours it runs, the more wear and tear it puts on the internal components. Thus, the older something gets, the more frequently breakdowns occur.

For less expensive repairs, take into account the frequency at which you are having to make repairs. This way, you can decide whether you want to keep spending money to repair your heating and cooling system or put the money towards replacing it with a system that will last 15-20 years. By being proactive and doing your research before your system goes out, you aren’t having to make a rushed decision about which system you want.

furnace replace - what is the cost to repair your furnace
5.   IS THE TEMPERATURE IN YOUR HOME COMFORTABLE?

It can be frustrating when your heating and cooling system isn’t able to keep your home as comfortable as you want. If your HVAC system is not running efficiently, it will not heat or cool your home effectively. Do you notice there are rooms in your house not heating or cooling to the temperature you set? This could be due to the system not being properly configured for the space/square footage involved. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do a home comfort needs analysis to make sure the system you install can perform the way it is designed to. A certified HVAC technician should be able to calculate and measure your home to help determine what equipment will perform the way you expect it to.

When you meet with an HVAC company, be ready to answer the following questions:

  1. What temperature do you like your home to be at during the day/night, summer/winter?
  2. Are there areas in your home that don’t heat/cool evenly?
  3. Does anyone in your home suffer from allergies or asthma?
  4. Does your home ever feel too damp or too dry?
  5. Have you done any recent remodeling or home improvements?
furnace replace - is the temperature in your home comfortable
 
If your home's heating and cooling system had an odometer (like a car), you’d be able to see just how many hours it has run and how much work it has done over the years. And you’d probably be surprised to see the numbers. There are quite a few things to consider when deciding whether to replace your furnace and air conditioner before it starts having major issues. Along with regular maintenance, understanding your system and planning ahead are crucial for a proactive consumer who wants to save money on utilities, heat or cool their home more efficiently, and not be left hanging.
 
No one likes to feel pressured and rushed into making big decisions about their home. Always look for a trusted HVAC company who you feel has your best interest in mind and will help you get all of the facts so you can make an educated decision regarding when to replace your HVAC system. If your system is getting older and you'd like to start looking into which options are available, September is a great time. Right now, we have our largest sale of the year on new HVAC equipment. (HINT: We’re giving away FREE furnaces!)
 

Feb 26th 2021

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