Is it time to replace your HVAC system?
Your HVAC involves one of the most expensive, sophisticated systems in your home. It includes your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and controls not only how comfortable your home is, but also how healthy you are.
An old system might not work as effectively as it once did. It might cost you money on your utility bills each month. If it’s cracked or leaking, it could also be leaking noxious gases into your air supply, which can damage your health.
Yet it’s one of the most expensive systems in your home. Should you replace or repair? Should you replace the entire system, or just one part at a time? It can be a difficult decision.
Judge by age
One of the easiest ways to determine the “repair or replace” decision is based on age. Furnaces and air conditioners are only designed to last for so long. Check in with your manufacturer’s guidelines to determine how long your equipment should last. The closer it gets to the useful life date, the more you should consider replacing the units rather than repair. Especially if the repair bill adds up.
Do you dread the moment your HVAC kicks on? Do you watch repair bills escalate every year? As they start to grow, if they expand to more than half of what it will cost to replace the unit, it’s better to stick your money into new technology. Newer units are more energy efficient, and can actually save you money on utility bills each month too.
Watch out for rising energy bills
Sometimes you can notice a change in your HVAC equipment by changes in your utility bills. If you see them creeping higher each month with no other explanation, it’s your HVAC equipment running harder than it needs to. Efficiency declines with every new season.
Your rooms run cold or hot
Do you have a room that never warms up? Or never cools down? It could be a problem with your HVAC system. It might be an old furnace or air conditioner that simply can’t keep up with demand. But it might also be a problem with your ventilation system – a blocked vent, or leaky ductwork that’s allowing conditioned air to flow where it’s not supposed to go.
That funny smell
Gas-forced furnaces can be fatal if they leak. At the first sine of any funny smell, get it serviced to be safe. Of course, that dust smell the first time you run it after a season off will go away quickly. We’re talking about a smell that lingers and won’t dissipate. It can be mold build-up in the vents. Or something more severe. Don’t play with smells; get it serviced right away.
Not sure? It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Schedule your routine maintenance visit at the start of each season. And at the first sign of something that might be wrong, call in an expert and get the problem fixed. Your health may depend on it.