When you buy a home, making improvements can always seem like a gamble. Will you get your money back if you sell? We know that splashy renovations on kitchens and bathrooms can usually help with selling a home, but what about behind the scenes improvements, such as a new HVAC system?
The initial cost of an HVAC system is high, but there are many ways you benefit from a new system. In case you need some convincing on the initial investment, we’ve listed all the reasons you should replace your HVAC when the time comes.
Most potential buyers don’t tour a home for sale and jump up and down about the heating and cooling system. Neither do they scour websites like Zillow and Trulia for pictures of air conditioners and furnaces. Granite countertops and hardwood floors usually steal the show. However, the heating and cooling systems are an essential element of the home, and they are a significant investment. Because of the expense of a new heating and cooling system, you may be on the fence about whether or not to take the plunge. Check out our range of Commercial HVAC to help in your problem with Heating, or Ventilation, or Air Conditioning.
If your furnace and air conditioner are old, and you have no immediate plans to move, then it often is worth it. Newer furnaces and air conditioners are much more efficient and will end up saving you big time on your gas and electric bills. The typical lifespan of a furnace is 14-20 years, and an air conditioner usually lasts 10-12 years. If your units are nearing that mark, then it’s most likely in your best interest to look at new ones. Not only might you avoid some major problems and repairs that come to older units, but you will save more on your monthly payments with more efficient units.
Are you putting your home on the market in the near future?
As we said above, a new HVAC system won’t necessarily attract buyers like a moth to a light in the same way a finished basement or kitchen remodel would. However, buyers know that HVAC systems are pricey, and it’s not something they want to have to worry about right away. If they learn that a home’s HVAC system is outdated and will need to be replaced soon, they may come back with a much lower offer.
Signs You Need a New HVAC System
- Increased Running Time
When your system gets old and requires a replacement, you’ll notice that it starts up more often. It might also stay on longer in order to reach the desired temperature.
It can be caused by bad coils as well as a failing blower motor. So check these parts before ordering a new installation.
If your coils and blower motor are sufficient, then these are signs that your HVAC system can no longer produce and circulate the air in your home efficiently. As a result, it requires more time to reach the desired temperature.
If, even after repairs, your system runs for a significantly more extended period of time more often than it used to, it’s time to replace the unit.
- Loud Noises
It’s normal for older HVAC systems to get louder with age. But when you notice that the following noises, it might be a sign that you need a replacement:
- the blower is humming louder
- the outdoor unit is making more noise
- the furnace is groaning and banging
- noise before the air conditioner starts up
- Some of these noises can be explained by a loose part or a part that needs to be replaced. Others may be related to problems with fans, motors, blowers, and other moving parts. But if the odd noises increase or remain after a repair, it’s likely that it’s time to replace your system.
- Lots of Repairs
A lot of the individual parts in an HVAC system are repairable and replaceable. But all HVAC systems will eventually wear out and require complete replacement.
And when a compressor, motor, or coil fails, replacement is far more worth it than repairing. The cost of parts, as well as labour for repairing these essential components of your system, are high.
While the upfront cost of an entirely new system seems like a lot, the cost of constant repairs when one of these parts fails isn’t worth it in the long term. That money is better invested in an entirely new system. And when you get that system, be sure to have a professional help you maintain it to extend the life of your investment.
- You Don’t Perform Regular Maintenance
Most people don’t realize the importance of performing regular maintenance and checks on their HVAC system. Checking your HVAC system at least once per year ensures they’re working safely and efficiently.
Maintenance helps you catch problems before they lead to more significant issues. It keeps your system in the best working order to increase its lifespan. If you don’t perform regularly scheduled maintenance, it’s more likely that the problem has reached a point of no return.
If you notice a dangerous pilot light situation, frayed or exposed wires and conduits, or other visible damage, your HVAC system may actually be posing a safety risk in your home.
- Your HVAC System Is 10+ Years Old
If you maintain your HVAC system properly, it might last you a little longer than a decade. Without maintenance, a 10-year-old HVAC system is considered outdated, inefficient, and a right candidate for replacement.
Beyond the ten year mark, you can expect an HVAC system to start costing you in repairs. They’ll also cost you more in energy bills as they lose efficiency.
Even the most state-of-the-art technology from 10+ years ago doesn’t come close to matching the energy efficiency of today’s systems. Newer units also have digitized and programmable thermostats that are easy to use and help make your home smarter.
Is It Time to Replace Your HVAC System?
Heating and cooling units endure regular wear and tear after years of use. Dust and grime build up inside the machinery and pipes, and minor damages need to be fixed.
At the very least, HVAC systems need to be serviced annually. If you had yours serviced every new year, or with every new season, then it’s likely in good shape.
You can hire a professional to check the state of your current HVAC system to help you decide what updates to make. If it’s needing constant repairs or shows a lot of damage, you may want to consider replacing it.
You’ll know your old HVAC system is ready to call it quits when you notice it’s running for more extended periods more often or it’s making a lot of noise. If you have to perform constant repairs or the unit is more than ten years old, chances are it’s time for a replacement. The cost of paying for repairs outweighs the price of a new system when you’ve reached this point in your HVAC system lifespan.
There were a few reasons we thought it might be time to replace our air conditioner. The first factor was its age. Our air conditioner was 15 years old, and they usually last 10-20 years. A furnace tends to last 20-30 years. We also decided to replace our furnace at the same time, more on that below.
Just because the AC unit is getting older doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced right away. But our old AC unit was installed before 2006, and it isn’t as energy efficient as a new unit. Most of the systems installed before 2006 don’t currently meet the minimum energy efficiency standards.
But the real reason we knew it was time to think about HVAC replacement was that the AC stopped working at the beginning of the summer. We had to put in a new capacitor and a hard start kit to get it running again. This helped revive the system, but was not a permanent fix and meant we were on the clock for replacement.Looking for air conditioner company? Look no further, Outline Air has you covered.
And while a new HVAC system carries a massive upfront cost, it can make your home more efficient and save you money in the long run. It also ensures your home is not only comfortable but safe. So when it’s time to replace your HVAC system,
Are you considering replacing your HVAC system? An HVAC replacement is a big decision, and you may have a lot of questions you need to answer. Questions like;
- When should you replace your old system?
- How much would an HVAC replacement cost?
- What’s the best HVAC system for my needs?
- Should I buy a High-Efficiency HVAC system?
- And maybe even, what does HVAC stand for anyway? It’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, in case you were wondering
Evaluating Our Old HVAC Unit
To confirm our suspicions that our old air conditioner wasn’t keeping up, we had a pro come out and analyze our set up. We used the Trane website to find a local Trane Comfort Specialist. After contacting the top three recommendations, we went with Total HVAC Nashville and a setup an appointment with Jeff Holland, a Senior Project Manager, to evaluate our system.
When our technician came to our house, he performed a lot of analysis to help us understand how the HVAC system should actually be sized vs. just accepting it was sized correctly to start. He used a laser measurer to calculate the area in all the rooms the system would service. This gave him the total cubic feet the new HVAC system would need to support.
He used these measurements to draw our house in an HVAC load calculation program. It took into consideration things like insulation values in the walls and attic, the number of windows and other factors that affect heat gain/loss. This let him calculate the BTUs needed for our space to provide optimal heating and cooling.
After laying out the house, he took readings from our current system. He measured the airflow at the return vents to see how much air the unit was moving
What’s the best HVAC system for my needs?
There are three main types of air conditioners you can choose from for your home; single-stage, two-stage and variable speed. I’m going to go over some of the main features of each here. Trane Residential also has more information online to help you choose the best unit for your home.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage vs. Variable Speed Air Conditioner
- These units are either on and blowing out cold air at 100% capacity, or they’re off. There is no middle ground.
- Not energy efficient. It takes more point to start up and shut down an air conditioning unit, compared to letting it run continuously at a lower power level.
- Initial product cost is lower than two-stage or variable speed units, but monthly energy bills are higher.
- Two-stage units run at two levels; full capacity or a lower level depending on outside temperatures.
- More energy efficient than a single stage because they cycle on and off less. But they don’t run as continuously at a low level like variable speed.
- Less expensive initially than a variable speed unit, but two-stage companies have lower SEER ratings. In the middle for monthly energy bills.
- A variable speed air conditioner stays on for extended periods, but at much lower levels. It reads outside temperature/humidity and makes minor adjusts to airflow to keep indoor temperatures even.
- Variable-speed air conditioners have higher SEER ratings; they are energy efficient because their compressor can run at more than 700 stages.
- They have the highest initial cost, but the lowest monthly energy costs.
Preparing to Install a New HVAC System
Before purchasing a new HVAC system and installation, there are a few things you can do to prepare. These will help offset the costs of your installation, and being prepared will make the process run more smoothly.
Before an HVAC installation, perform the following check-ups:
- Inspect your HVAC ductwork for any issues. Inform your installer of these prior to installation.
- Look for holes in your ductwork or detachment. Inform your installer of these prior to installation.
- Look for dirt and debris buildup and have your ducts cleaned prior to installation.
The importance of proper ductwork can’t be understated. Even the most efficient HVAC units can’t do their job correctly if there are problems with ductwork. It’s not uncommon for ducts to deteriorate with age, so having them serviced ensures that your system is working to it’s most excellent efficiency.
Is It Really Worth It
You’re probably wondering, “Well is it really worth the extra money or not!?!”. And my answer to you would be, it depends on your situation and what you’re looking for. The older and less efficient the old system, the bigger the savings will be between your new energy-efficient system. Going from a two-stage procedure to a variable speed system will take much longer to make sense financially and could exceed the life of the new system.We have the best air-conditioning service in Outline Air at Melbourne,Australia
The cost of a new HVAC system may be high, but the long-term benefits are worth it. You do not only increase property value but providing comfortable temperatures and cleaner air.
But at the same time, there is another factor, and that’s the overall comfort in your house. We dealt with a lot of ups and downs with our single-stage units. And we also had a lot of extra noise with the all or nothing setup which took off like a rocket or sat idle. For us, it was a combination of significant energy savings from our old unit to the new one (~8 SEER to 22 SEER) and the lure of even heating and cooling.
We’re very happy with our decision and can’t wait to enjoy the benefits of our HVAC replacement in the heat of summer and the cold of winter if you are still on the fence, head over to Trane’s site where they help you walk through the decision making process and find what’s right for your specific situation.