Are You Sure You Don’t Need an HVAC System Replacement?
When your HVAC system starts acting up, you may be faced with the choice to either repair the parts that are broken or replace the entire unit. How can you tell which is the best choice?
The cost of installing a new HVAC system is estimated at $6,000-$8,500 (or $9,000-$12,500 if new ductwork is needed). Because HVAC installation usually costs so much more than repair, many people are hesitant to replace their current AC or heating unit unless it is absolutely necessary. However, there are instances in which replacement really is the only solution. For example, when your Heating and Air Conditioning unit is producing carbon monoxide, when your system reaches a certain age, and when your compressor or blower motor burn out- these are all cases in which you should install a new HVAC system.
Do You Smell Something Funny?
While carbon monoxide is naturally odorless, most gas companies treat it with an odor like rotten eggs, to warn you if there is a leak in your home. It is crucial that you get rid of your central heating system if it is producing carbon monoxide, as it can be deadly if inhaled in large doses.
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, here’s what you should do:
- Get yourself and your loved ones out of the house as soon as possible
- Open doors and windows to dissipate some of the gas.
- Do not turn light switches on or off, ignite any flames, or use any electronic devices, including cell phones. Do not start your car. Carbon monoxide is highly flammable, and any of these actions could cause an explosion.
- Call for help.
Is Your System More Than 12 Years Old?
On average most HVAC systems don’t last more than 10 to 15 years, but if your unit is more than 12 years old, it may be more prone to breaking down.
This is because your system is simply too old to continue running efficiently, and it will eventually be unable to run at all.
When it’s time to replace your HVAC system, you may notice that:
- Your monthly energy bills begin to increase, even if your energy use hasn’t
- Your unit needs frequent repairs
- Your home isn’t cooling or heating evenly (some rooms are warm, while others are cool)
- You notice increased humidity (during summer) or decreased humidity (during winter) in your home. This is usually a sign that your duct system also needs to be replaced.
Do You Need to Replace The Compressor or Blower Motor?
All in all, replacing either the compressor or the blower motor in your system is an unwise decision. Replacements for either of these critical components can actually cost as much as a new unit to install! So how can you avoid such a costly failure in your HVAC system?
Compressor failure can be caused by a number of things including broken refrigerant lines, dirty coils, moisture in the refrigerant system, and the compressor short cycling. Blower motor failure, on the other hand, is likely caused by some kind of electrical failure in the windings, an accumulation of dust and dirt on the blower, a high amp draw, or failed bearings. In either case, age is also likely to play a role, as is poor HVAC system maintenance.