How to Determine When It Is Best to Replace an HVAC Unit

Replacing an old HVAC system is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. For this reason, most homeowners try to put off replacing the HVAC system for as long as they possibly can. However, there comes a time when homeowners realize that they have no option but to make the investment and install a new heating and air-conditioning system. The following are some of the things that Northern Virginia electric professionals have seen that indicate a home’s HVAC system needs to be replaced.

Look at the Age of the System

The age of an HVAC system plays a large role in when it should be replaced. Some professionals opt to use the 5,000 rule. To follow this rule, simply take the age of the equipment and multiply it by what it costs to repair a damaged unit. If that number exceeds $5,000, then it is time to replace the unit. If it is less than $5,000, then it is worth it to repair the unit. For example, a 10-year-old unit that has a $40 repair equals out to $4,000. It is okay to repair this unit.

The average life span of an HVAC unit is approximately 15 years. Any unit that is reaching that age range and that is experiencing multiple malfunctions should be replaced. Units that are older than 10 years do not have the same Energy Star rating as newer models do. This means that they run less efficiently and will increase a homeowner’s monthly energy bills.

Other Things to Consider When Replacing the HVAC System

Something else to consider when determining whether or not to replace an HVAC system is the effect your current system is having on your energy bills. If a homeowner notices that their energy bills are rising every single year, it is probably time to invest in a new HVAC system.

Also, a homeowner should factor in how much longer they plan on living in their current home. If a homeowner has a unit that is functioning fine and they intend on living in their home for the next 30 years, they may be able to put off replacing the HVAC system for a few years. However, if a homeowner is looking to sell their home, they may want to replace an older system with a newer one as this will increase the value of the home and its appeal to potential buyers.

3 Tips for Hiring HVAC Specialists

When your furnace goes bump in the night, the last thing you want to do is bring in an HVAC professional who doesn’t know their stuff. But how can you be sure you’re hiring the right people? What criteria should you use for selecting a repair company? Here are just three ideas for vetting them before allowing them access to your home.

1. Read Their Reviews

Start your search by reading the reviews of likely candidates. Not only will this ensure that you weed out the crooks, but you’ll also get an inside scoop on the accuracy of their estimates and the professionalism of their teams.

2. Check Their Credentials

Are they licensed by the state? Are they affiliated with any professional organizations like the National Association of Journeymen Linemen or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America? Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of paperwork if you doubt their qualifications.

3. Talk About Prices

Request a quote. Inquire about payment plans. Sit down with them and go through their contracts line by line. The money is coming directly out of your pocket, so if they’re going to charge you for parts, labor and insurance, you should know about it in advance. You might also want to ask them about liability and job warranties.

These are just three things to keep in mind when searching for HVAC specialists. Take your time and do it right. A working heater can mean the difference between life and death in the winter!