You come home one cold winter day to find your furnace is not working properly or your air conditioner conked out on a hot summer afternoon. Faced with an aging heating and cooling system that needs service, you have an important decision to make – should you pay to repair your current system or replace it entirely? There are several key factors to think about as you weigh your options. Here are some of those factors from heating and air companies Raleigh NC-based.
How Old Is Your Current System?
One of the first things to look at is the age of your heating and cooling equipment. As a system gets older, repairs tend to become more frequent and parts can be difficult to find. The typical lifespan for furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners is between 15 to 20 years. If your system is approaching or past that threshold, replacement may make more economic sense than sinking money into repairs. Newer models are more energy efficient too, so you’ll reap additional savings on utility bills with an upgrade.
What Are The Likely Repair Costs Versus Replacement?
Crunching some numbers is important before deciding whether to repair or replace. Get a good-faith estimate on the repair costs for parts and labor. Also, obtain quotes for installing a brand-new, equivalent system. Compare the short-term costs of the repair against the long-term investment of replacement over the lifespan of the new unit. Generally, if the repair bill exceeds 50% of the cost of a new system, replacement is the more cost-effective route. New heating and cooling equipment also qualifies for rebates and tax credits to offset some of your upfront costs over time.
What Caused The Breakdown?
The underlying cause of the system failure also comes into play. For example, if your furnace control board is fried because of a power surge during a storm, that’s likely a fluke rather than a symptom of impending doom. Replacing expansion valves leaking refrigerant on an eight-year-old air conditioner makes more sense than replacing the whole unit if it’s otherwise operating smoothly. However, major component malfunctions like a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace may indicate irreparable issues due to wear and tear. If an essential part of your system requires a pricey replacement just to be functional again for who knows how long, go for the new equipment.
How Disruptive Will Repair Or Replacement Be?
There are convenience factors around repairing versus replacing your unit. A straightforward circuit board replacement might get your heating back up and running the same day. But if ductwork needs reconfiguring, or gas lines moved for a new furnace, you could go days without heat in the dead of winter. Similarly, for cooling, repairs drawing out for weeks during peak summer leave you sweating it out. Replacement may better minimize disruption even at a higher initial investment. Prioritize your comfort and household needs as you evaluate how long you can operate with a broken system.
Deciding whether to repair or replace heating and cooling equipment typically boils down to the age, repair cost ratio, failure specifics, and convenience for your situation. Crunch the numbers thoughtfully, but also trust your gut instinct on what will serve your home best for years to come. With some prudent decision-making, you can look forward to reliable temperature control and greater peace of mind no matter what the weather brings.