Quick Summary of Signs Your HVAC System Needs To Be Replaced:
- It’s Really Old
- Regular Maintenance Hasn’t Been Done
- Repairs Are Becoming Frequent
- It’s Making Loud Noises
- It Struggles to Reach Set Temperatures
- 4 Reasons Replacing Your HVAC System Is A Good Idea
- How Much Is A New HVAC System?
Do you have a feeling that your HVAC system needs to be replaced? When you get this feeling, you should act on it. If your HVAC system is in need of repair or replacement, waiting too long is bad. Procrastinating will likely make whatever’s wrong with it worse. It can be hard to tell on your own if the problem is an easy fix or not. Especially with older HVAC systems, what seems like a quick fix could be more severe. Getting a professional to diagnose it is always recommended.
But how do you know for sure if you need to call an HVAC tech? What signs tell you that it’s time to replace your HVAC system? Here are signs that your HVAC system needs to be replaced and what to do next.
1. It’s Really Old
We’ll start with the most obvious one first. The older machinery gets, especially machinery that operates constantly every day, it’s going to wear out with age. And this is no different for HVAC systems. In our experience, 10 years is when these systems really start to show their age. However, if you take good care of it, have it serviced regularly, etc, it can last much longer. But our experience has also shown that people who take good care of their HVAC systems are rare.
So on average, the 10-year mark is when you should start really considering how your system is functioning. This is the point where industry professionals will likely consider HVAC systems inefficient and outdated. The number of repairs that homeowners have to make on it after the 10-year mark goes way up. And not only that but these homeowners are paying way more in utilities than they need to. This is because on old HVAC system doesn’t work efficiently.
Technology in the HVAC industry moves fast, believe it or not. The HVAC tech that was brand new a decade ago is highly inefficient compared to today. This is mainly due to the ongoing advancements in digital technology that’s put into HVAC machines. Smart tech has dramatically increased the efficiency of these systems. So if yours is over 10 years old, there’s a good chance it needs to be replaced.
2. Regular Maintenance Hasn’t Been Done
When’s the last time you had an HVAC tech come over and take a look at it? If you say “Never” or “only when it broke that one time” then you’re not alone. People hardly ever think about their HVAC system serviced. The only time most people call an HVAC company is when their system is flat-out not working for some reason. This treatment of your HVAC system will almost certainly lead to a shorter lifespan.
You take your car to get an oil change every 5,000 miles or so, right? You should be taking the same action with your HVAC system. Just because it isn’t broken doesn’t mean that it’s working optimally. In fact, most of the HVAC systems we inspect aren’t working properly. Very rarely do we see one that’s working perfectly as it should. This is a waste of money for the homeowner because the harder the system works, the more expensive utilities are.
We’re not saying your HVAC system needs to be looked at multiple times a year like your car. Once a year is fine. Having an HVAC tech come over once a year to assess how it’s performing is great for it. They can tune it up where necessary, make sure it’s working efficiently, and make sure everything is safe. The small issues will stay small if you have a pro come check your system once a year.
3. Repairs Are Becoming Frequent
This sign is self-explanatory, but it still needs to be mentioned. Are you suddenly spending money on your HVAC system on a regular basis? It’s probably time to have it replaced. You might be thinking that this section could have been lumped in with the “It’s Really Old” section. But the reason we didn’t is that an HVAC system doesn’t need to be old to have frequent problems.
Something in the system could have broken and is causing additional problems as a result. There are lots of things that can go wrong depending on the circumstance. Big problems like a coil fail, a motor issue, a compressor problem, for example, would be bad. Issues like these can have all sorts of additional repercussions that cost money. That’s why it’s best to get an HVAC specialist over there as soon as possible.
Continually repairing and replacing parts is more expensive (and time-consuming) over time than just having the system itself replaced. Think of it like an investment that will pay off in the future.
4. It’s Making Loud Noises
Here are some noises to listen for that are not good. If your HVAC system is making any of these sounds, call a professional.
– When you start it up, it makes noises before it actually begins working. Sometimes we call these booting up noises. These are bad. It shouldn’t be making additional noises before starting up.
– You hear banging and moaning-type noises coming from the furnace. Not good.
– You hear strange noises coming from the outdoor unit. Also not good.
– A loud humming noise is coming from the blower. It shouldn’t be doing that.
In some cases, these noises are being caused by something that can be easily fixed. Maybe a part like a blower, motor, or fan is loose and it simply needs to be readjusted. But it’s just as likely that something more is going on. Especially if strange noise is still happening even after you’d had it repaired. That’s not a good sign.
5. It Struggles to Reach Set Temperatures
This might be the most common sign that homeowners notice. You may have noticed this yourself. You set the thermostat to 73 degrees (or whatever your desired temp is). And you notice that it takes a really long time for your home to reach that temperature. Or perhaps it comes close but never actually reaches it.
There’s a number of reasons why this happens. Maybe you’re lucky and you really just need to change your air filter. But more common culprits are bad blower motors and bad coils. And even worse is when there’s nothing wrong with your motor and coils. This means the problem runs deeper and is all but a sure sign that your system needs to be replaced. It means that fully-functional circulation is no longer possible for your HVAC system.
Reasons Replacing Your HVAC System Is A Good Idea
If you’re planning on replacing your HVAC system, you’ll soon find out that it’s not cheap. But as we mentioned above, the benefits (including savings) you receive from a new system outweigh its cost. Remember, it’s an investment. A smart investment. Here’s some reasons why.
Cheaper Utility Bill
The harder your HVAC system has to work, the more energy it uses. The more energy it uses, the higher your utility bill will be. A new HVAC system that utilizes the newest technology will be so much more efficient than your old one. The less energy it has to exert, the cheaper your utility bill will be. New systems save some people close to 40% on their energy bill. Even if it saves you 20%, that’s still amazing!
Conveniences That Come From Modern Technology
The further we progress into the digital era, the more convenient so many things become. HVAC technology has come a very long way, even in just the last 10 years. “Smart” tech has made its way into air conditioning units. Controls and functionality are as simplified and efficient as ever. Many systems have accompanying apps so you can toggle the settings from you phone or computer.
Even the refrigerants that are used in HVAC systems have been upgraded in modern units. Freon has been replaced by Puron in many new systems. Puron is superior because it can operate at higher pressures and interacts with heat more efficiently. New systems are built to last longer and work better. Compressors don’t burn out as easy. Essentially all modern components are designed to hold up to more stress than older ones.
Things like mold, allergens, humidity, and dust are handled better with the new HVAC systems. Your home and family will be healthier and safer with up-to-date HVAC technology.
An Opportunity To Get A Proper Installation
Do you live in an older home, particularly one that had a previous owner? If so, you know little (if anything) about how the HVAC system was installed. Obviously, HVAC technology and installation processes are better since your system was installed. But who knows about the credibility or reliably of whoever installed it in the first place. For all you know, the previous owner paid for an inexpensive, unreliable system to save money
By getting a new HVAC system installed, you have control. Control over what’s installed, who installs it, and how it’s installed. All of this gives great peace of mind with the knowledge that it’s been done right. Installing a new system also allows you to choose the best model for your home. There are different models out there and not all of them are the same. Some are designed for particular types of homes, climates, etc.
Increases The Value of Your Home
Installing a new HVAC system does wonders for the resale value of your home. On the flip side, if you’re trying to sell a home with a really old HVAC system, it has the opposite effect. A potential buyer can easily demand a cheaper asking price. They can site how much they’ll have to put in to repairing or replacing the HVAC system. You’ll definitely be able to sell a home for more if it the HVAC has been updated.
How Much Is A New HVAC System?
It depends. The square footage of the home plays a role in what the final price will be. Local costs for installation can vary from city to city, as well. Also, how complex will the system need to be? That plays a role, too. On average, somewhere in the range of $5000-$12,000 can be expected. What does this include? It includes the air conditioning unit itself, the ductwork, and a new furnace.
Other Costs To Consider
When you replace an HVAC system, there are some costs involved on top of the ones already mentioned.
It’s common for the base to be replaced during a new system install. By base, we’re referring to the pad that they HVAC system sits on. You’ll know this needs to be replaced if the new unit is a different size than the previous one. Or if the old base is damaged or disgusting.
Some homeowners need to have the insulation in their home upgraded in conjunction with their new HVAC system. This is because some new systems require the insulation to be a specific grade or installed in a particular way. This usually depends on the size of the home; particularly individual room sizes.
Depending on how old your home is, you may need to upgrade the electrical work in the home. Things like service panels, wiring, breakers, and circuit breaker boxes may need to be updated with your new HVAC system. Naturally, the service of an electrician will be required for this. (Some HVAC companies have employees who are licensed electricians as well as certified HVAC installers).
Once a new HVAC system is installed, don’t make the mistake of not getting regular maintenance done. Remember what we recommended earlier in this article: an HVAC checkup once a year. Make sure you buy the extended warranty plan that will likely come with your new system.
5 Signs Your HVAC System Needs To Be Replaced (And What To Do Next) – Conclusion
Make sure that you inspect the ductwork in preparation for your new HVAC installation. No matter how new your HVAC system is, deteriorating ductwork will lower the efficiency. Debris and dirt can get built up in the ducts. They can become detached or develop holes. Just make sure you have your ductwork checked first.
Reach out to us with any other questions you have! At Snowdon HVAC, we’ve got what you need.