Any time something goes wrong with your HVAC system, you’ll face an important decision. Should you repair the broken HVAC system or should you replace it altogether? This is a tricky question because there’s no perfect answer. Both repairing and replacing an HVAC system have their own unique perks. The right choice depends on your situation and your personal preferences. To decide which option is right for you, you’ll need to consider these factors.
The Cost of Repairs
Though price alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor, it’s one of the biggest things you should think about. In most cases, it wouldn’t make sense to replace an entire HVAC system just because you need to do some simple repairs that will only cost a couple hundred dollars. However, things get more complicated when you’re dealing with more expensive repairs.
There are all sorts of formulas homeowners use to try to consider whether the price of the repairs outweighs the price of a replacement. One common option is to go ahead and replace the machine if the cost of repairing it is more than half the value of the HVAC system. Another popular formula is to take the age of the unit, multiply it by the cost of repairs, and replace the unit if the final number is more than 5,000. These formulas can provide some assistance, but you’ll also want to consider your personal budget and see whether you’re comfortable purchasing a new HVAC system at this time.
To know how much your repairs will be, you’ll need a professional estimate from an HVAC technician. Repair costs can vary quite a bit depending on your HVAC model and size. However, there are generally certain repairs that are usually too pricey to get. Many homeowners choose to replace their system if they have a broken AC compressor or evaporator coil. Meanwhile, things like leaking refrigerant or a blown fan motor are often affordable enough to make a repair worthwhile.
Your Unit’s Age
Another important thing to consider is the age of your unit. Putting a lot of time and money into repairing your HVAC system can be a waste if it’s a very old unit that’s likely to break again sometime soon. Most air conditioners and heaters last around 10 to 15 years. If your unit is older than this, repairs are often an unwise choice. When your equipment is reaching the end of its life anyway, it’s often easier and more cost-effective to go ahead and replace it. This ensures that you end up with a brand-new, efficient machine instead of one that will keep having problems.
Time Needed to Repair or Replace the System
Even with the best HVAC professionals, replacing an entire HVAC system is a complex project. It can involve having a lot of workers in your house and going a day or two without heating or air conditioning. Since it’s such a big home improvement project, it’s important to think about your schedule and convenience before deciding on a replacement.
If you’re tight on time and don’t want to deal with replacing your entire system right now, a repair can be a little more convenient. For example, a homeowner who works from home and knows they’ll be very busy with work for the next few months might want to get a repair to hold them over until they have time to replace the system. Just make sure to check about repair and replacement times with your HVAC tech before making a decision. Some repairs can be just as time-consuming as a replacement.
How Long You Plan on Living in Your Home
Don’t forget to factor in your plans for the future when you’re debating whether or not you should replace your HVAC system. If you plan on moving soon and your unit is in decent condition, it might not be worthwhile to replace it no matter how old it is. Many homeowners find it a lot more convenient to just go with a repair if they’re going to be moving in the next year or two.
If you’re considering selling soon, it’s important to be aware that an older HVAC system can deter some buyers. Since they know the system is at the end of its lifespan, they might ask you to slightly reduce your selling price or provide them with a credit for purchasing new equipment. This can still be cheaper and easier than buying a replacement you won’t get much time to use, but that will depend on your local housing market.
Whether Your System’s Design Is Outdated
HVAC designs are constantly changing, and in the past few years alone, there have been huge advancements in the industry. This means that there’s a chance your HVAC unit is very out of date by now. If you bought it before 2016, it might not be as energy-efficient as new models are. There’s also a chance that your outdated equipment might be giving you sky-high electric bills. If you want a new model that’s more efficient, it might be worthwhile to go ahead and replace it once your old one runs into some problems.
Another similar situation to consider is your AC unit’s refrigerant type. In 2020, an older type of refrigerant called R-22 was phased out of use. If your model still runs on R-22 refrigerant, you’ll find that it’s much harder to repair it. Since this refrigerant isn’t as common anymore, it can take more time and money to fix refrigerant leaks. Updating to a new AC that runs on modern refrigerant can be more convenient, even if you otherwise wouldn’t replace the system.
How Well Your Current HVAC Suits Your Needs
The unfortunate reality is that there are some HVAC problems that can’t be fixed with a repair. Does your HVAC system run nonstop but still can’t make your home comfortable? Do you have strange hot and cold spots throughout the house? Is your equipment constantly turning on and off for no apparent reason? These sorts of issues tend to be caused by an improperly sized HVAC unit.
If your HVAC system isn’t the right size for your home, repairs won’t be able to entirely solve the problem. Instead, the only way to address the issue is to replace the system itself. Homeowners who have been dealing with an improperly sized HVAC unit for a while might want to use a breakdown as motivation to go ahead and replace the system. This can let you get a new system that actually provides the right level of cooling and heating for your house.
When you’re trying to choose between repairing and replacing your HVAC system, Magic Electric, Plumbing, Heating + Air can help. Our technicians are happy to examine your equipment and give you the information you need to make your decision. No matter what you decide, our trained professionals can assist you with repairs or a new installation. We provide a variety of useful home services throughout the Magic Valley region, including electrical, drain, plumbing, and HVAC services. Find out more by contacting Magic Electric, Plumbing, Heating + Air today.