Deciding Whether to Repair Or Replace Your HVAC Unit
Deciding Whether to Repair Or Replace Your HVAC Unit in North Alabama
Wondering whether to repair or replace your HVAC system? Air conditioning and heating units, like all appliances and automobiles, will eventually wear out and need to be serviced or replaced. Keeping your unit maintained will, of course, delay the need for having to replace your system, but the time will come when new technology can increase your HVAC system’s overall efficiency and decrease its noise level, all while keeping your family more comfortable year-round.
At Environmental Comfort Systems, we often relate the repair process for residential air conditioning systems to the repair of automobiles. After our customers tell us what is going on with their unit(s), one of our skilled technicians determines what is needed to get the system back up and running. Once his diagnosis is complete, he will go over his findings and present the customer with repair options.
As you consider your options for system repair, several different things should be considered:
· Is your unit older than 10-12 years old?
· Has it had several repairs over the last few years?
· What type of overall condition is it in?
· How likely is another costly repair in the not too distant future?
· How much of the replacement cost will this repair be?
· What utility savings will you realize with a new higher efficiency unit?
· What piece of mind will you get from a new unit with a new warranty?
As an example, if your 1993 Chevy, with 240,000 miles, needed a $1,200 transmission replacement what would you do? You would probably trade it in knowing the lack of repairs and improved fuel mileage would practically pay for it over the next 5 years. Of course, there are always more personal reasons people keep older cars, but the point is, that when it comes to repairing vs. replacement of an automobile or an HVAC system, at some point, replacing outweighs the cost to repair.
More options to consider:
Let’s consider two factors that might greatly influence the decision to repair or replace your system.
Sometimes replacement should be considered based partially or solely on system efficiency. This discussion could be based on Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), and/or Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF).
In the Tennessee Valley, we tend to use our A/C systems more than people do in most other parts of the country. With the extreme humidity and the high heat in the summer, your annual utility savings per SEER rating are even greater than the national average.
If you would take the annual utility cost of your current system and subtract the annual utility cost of your replacement unit, you will see your annual savings. Take that number and multiply by 12 years average lifetime to see lifetime utility cost savings.
For example, $1586 (8SEER) minus $876 (16SEER) equals $710 (annual savings) multiplied by 12 years equals $8,520 utility cost savings over the life of your new machine. The savings, when compared to the cost of a new system, can oftentimes equal a FREE system.
Comfort is obviously very important to us. After a long day at work, the last thing any of us want is to come home to an uncomfortably hot or humid home. A lack of comfort normally falls into either high humidity in the home or poor airflow, sometimes it is both.
Sometimes upgrading to a newer unit with a variable speed air handler is all that is needed to correct a humidity issue your home. The variable-speed blower motor will not only improve the electrical efficiency of your unit but, by lowering the humidity level in your home you may find that your comfort level will be a couple of degrees warmer than it was with your old non-variable-speed blower motor.
When homes are being built the A/C system is oftentimes not properly sized for the house. It is not uncommon to find homes that have undersized systems in them. If the unit is too small it will not have the cooling capacity to properly cool your home in the heat of the summer and if the air handler is too small it will not move enough cool air to properly cool your home. Simply put, undersized A/C systems cannot flow enough cool air to keep up with your summertime needs.
Taking efficiency and comfort into mind, is it best to repair or replace your HVAC system? As always, we are here to help you make these decisions based on what is best for YOUR home or business.
Environmental Comfort Systems is the Tennessee Valley’s trusted dealer for High-Efficiency Comfort Systems. Our professional staff can answer any questions you might have, and make recommendations as to which system will work better for your individual situation.
Environmental Comfort Systems is fully licensed and insured.