How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your HVAC

by Oct 12, 2023

Making decisions about your HVAC system can be tricky, especially when you’re on the fence about whether to repair it or completely replace it. It’s not just a matter of cost; you also have to consider factors like its age, safety, efficiency, and environmental impact. Here are the factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC in Philadelphia.


The Lifespan of a Furnace


A typical furnace lasts about 15 to 20 years. If yours is reaching the end of that timeframe, it might be smarter to invest in a new one. Repairing an old furnace is sometimes like putting a Band-Aid on a bigger problem. A new furnace will be more reliable and likely be more energy-efficient, saving you money in the long run.


Safety Considerations


An older HVAC system could present safety issues that you can’t afford to ignore. Cracks in the heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which can be life-threatening. If you’ve noticed signs of wear and tear that could compromise your safety, the wisest course of action would be to replace your system entirely. Even regular maintenance checks can miss some of these issues, so it’s always good to be cautious.


Heating Efficiency and Effectiveness


Over time, HVAC systems lose their efficiency, requiring more energy to heat or cool the same amount of space. If you’ve noticed higher utility bills without a clear reason, it might be your aging system. Newer models come with higher efficiency ratings, meaning they do a better job with less energy. You’ll be more comfortable while lowering your utility bills.


Does it Use R-22 Freon?


The type of refrigerant your HVAC system uses can also influence your decision. Older models often use R-22 Freon, which is being phased out due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. If your system uses this refrigerant, repairs can be expensive and less environmentally friendly. In such cases, upgrading to a new system that uses an eco-friendly refrigerant would be the better option.


Repair Costs Are Mounting


Another red flag that it may be time to replace your HVAC system is if you find yourself frequently calling for repairs. Even if each repair seems affordable, those costs add up over time and could end up being more than the cost of a new system. More importantly, constant repairs can be a sign that your system is nearing the end of its life. You don’t want to pour money into a sinking ship.


Frequent Breakdowns


If your HVAC system is breaking down often, that’s a clear sign something is wrong. Frequent malfunctions can make your living situation quite uncomfortable, especially in extreme weather. These breakdowns can lead to costly repairs that only offer temporary relief. In such situations, replacing the system usually turns out to be a better long-term investment.


Overall Unit Age


The age of your HVAC system is a major factor in the repair vs. replacement debate. If your system is over 15 years old, it’s nearing, if not past, the end of its expected lifespan. The older a unit gets, the more likely it is to have efficiency issues and breakdowns. If you find that your unit is of a certain age, it might be more cost-effective to replace it.


Dust Accumulation in Your Home


If you’re noticing a lot of dust accumulating in your home, despite regular cleaning, it could be due to an inefficient HVAC system. Older systems may not filter the air as effectively, leading to poor indoor air quality. A new HVAC system can help in regulating temperature and maintain better air quality inside your home.


Rising Energy Bills


If you notice your energy bills creeping up without a corresponding increase in usage, your HVAC system could be the culprit. Inefficiency in heating and cooling can lead to higher energy costs. Replacing your old HVAC system with a more energy-efficient model can help you bring down your utility bills to a more reasonable level.


Strange Odors


Musty or burning smells coming from your HVAC system shouldn’t be ignored. These odors could indicate mold growth or electrical issues, both of which require immediate attention. While some issues may be fixable, persistent problems with strange smells may suggest it’s time for a replacement.


Loud or Strange Noises


HVAC systems are generally designed to operate quietly. If you’re hearing loud or strange noises, like grinding or squealing, it’s a sign that something is wrong. While some noises can be fixed with minor repairs, constant problematic sounds often indicate a more serious issue that may necessitate a complete system replacement.


Discomfort in Your Home with Temperature


The primary function of an HVAC system is to keep you comfortable. If you’re noticing that some rooms are too hot while others are too cold, or if the system is not maintaining a stable temperature, it’s not doing its job effectively. A new, more efficient system can offer more consistent comfort throughout your home.


Why It’s Important to Get Advice from An Expert


There’s no substitute for professional advice when it comes to matters like this. An HVAC expert can assess the condition of your system, taking into account all the factors mentioned above. They can give you an informed recommendation on whether repair or replacement would be the most practical and cost-effective solution for you.


Contact Lawrence Heating and Air to Repair or Replace Your HVAC in Philadelphia


If you’re in the Philadelphia area and grappling with the decision to repair or replace your HVAC system, Lawrence Heating and Air can help. With a team of seasoned professionals, we can assess your current system’s state and guide you toward the best decision for your situation. Making the right choice can save you time, money, and a lot of discomfort in the long run. Contact Lawrence Heating and Air for repair or replacement services for your HVAC in Philadelphia.