A functioning Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioner (HVAC) unit is necessary for every home. Having one in your home can significantly increase your home’s value if you’re planning to sell it in the future. Moreover, they always regulate thermal comfort during cold winters and hot summers. Besides, they improve indoor air quality by maintaining humidity at ideal levels and eliminating allergens. Consequently, your home becomes comfortable, and you’ll always find it pleasant to stay indoors.
Even though these HVAC systems can serve you for a long time, they’re bound to wear out after some time. At such a point, you may wonder whether it’s good to repair the defects or replace the entire unit. Repairs can suffice sometimes. But several repairs on the system may lead to constant breakdowns until maintenance becomes very expensive. You’ll undoubtedly get to a point where the only option is to replace it.
But you should also know replacements can be expensive. Thus, replacing the system is not always feasible, especially when you discover only a minor defect. Minor issues don’t justify a replacement. And that’s the focus of this article; knowing what defects point to a repair and which ones necessitate replacement.
1. When To Repair
HVAC systems are mechanical machines prone to wear and tear and breakdowns. Some defects may arise for reasons beyond your control; others may result from poor or irregular maintenance of your HVAC unit. Maintenance ensures the system runs efficiently and safely for as long as possible. It enables you to save on energy costs and prevent damage to your home. Here are some of the signs your HVAC system needs repairs:
- When the AC unit or furnace makes strange noises: Your air conditioner or furnace should function appropriately without producing weird and loud noises. So, if you notice yours is making strange noises like squealing or grinding when in use, this could mean a part or two may be loose. So, if you get to such a point, consider seeking the services of experienced AC repair specialists or furnace repair providers. They have the expertise to determine the exact noise source and rectify your unit accordingly.
- Problems with the thermostat: The primary function of the thermostat is to measure the current indoor temperature and pass instructions to the AC on whether to heat or cool the space. A malfunctioned thermostat may go on heating the room even when the temperatures are high, unnecessarily consuming energy and hiking your electricity bills. So if you notice your AC isn’t responding perfectly to temperature changes, you’d want to replace the thermostat instead of the AC itself.
- Blowing warm air instead of cold: The AC is supposed to cool a room when it’s hot and warm it when it’s chilly. But if you realize it’s blowing off warm air instead of cold air or vice versa, you may need to call repair technicians at once.
- If it breaks down before its lifespan elapses: The average lifespan of most HVAC units is between 15 and 20 years. If yours breaks down a few months or years after installation, the chances are high that it’s repairable damage.
- The ductwork has gaps: Most HVAC defects revolve around the ductwork instead of the unit. Thus, seek the services of professionals to inspect the ducts and seal any cracks. This way, you’ll save money by stopping the damage from being extensive.
- If you perform regular maintenance: If you always carry out the recommended maintenance procedures but your HVAC system malfunctions, consider repairing rather than replacing the whole system.
- Electrical issues: If your unit clicks before it ignites, it might be an electrical igniter issue. But this is a repairable defect. Thus, ask an expert to rectify it because it tends to waste fuel. Prompt repair helps prevent the damage from being extensive.
2. When To Replace
There are only so many repairs and maintenance your HVAC system can take. It may get to a point you’re spending so much money just so your unit works. But then again, it breaks down because of another problem. At this point, the viable option is to get rid of the rundown system and buy a new unit. Here are some of the signs you need to replace your HVAC systems:
- Dust accumulation in your home: This can be the first telltale sign you need to replace your HVAC system. When you notice dust everywhere, even when you change your HVAC filters, it could mean it’s not working efficiently anymore. Remember, your unit should be able to give you clean and purified air free of dirt, dust, or debris. So, consider replacing your HVAC when this happens.
- Unusual odors: If you notice strange smells coming from your AC, your systems may have accumulated mold and are burning it. Also, this may be because the wires are melting. It can make you sick, so you’d better replace it immediately.
- Increase in energy bills: If you notice a spike in your energy bills, it may be time to buy a modern energy-efficient HVAC system. Saving on energy bills is crucial during these tough economic times.
- Frequent breakdowns: When your HVAC system breaks down every other week, it may be time to replace it.
- It has lived its designated life: To reiterate, most HVAC units last about 15-20 years. At this juncture, their efficiency decreases considerably no matter how much you care for them. You’ve probably done many repairs, and old age may lower the HVAC system’s function. It could have issues such as cracked ducts, low fluid levels, motor damage, and bad thermostats. So, say goodbye to it and buy a new one.
So far, you know the factors to consider before deciding to repair or replace your HVAC. In a nutshell, repairs are viable for minor defects affecting specific system components. On the other hand, replacements are necessary when several parts break down, and repairing them all proves tedious and expensive. For both courses of action, hire professional HVAC companies for a more guaranteed solution.