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Repair vs. Replace

When your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system experiences repeated malfunctions, you may be contemplating whether it’s more affordable or reasonable to repair or replace it altogether. Repairing may be cheaper today, but it’s possible that a newer, more efficient system can offer the savings and reliability that you need. Here are some factors to consider when facing the dreaded repair/replace dilemma.

How old is your HVAC system?

When considering whether to repair or replace your HVAC system entirely, one of the most important factors to consider is the age of the unit versus the cost to repair/replace it. While it may be cheaper to repair a malfunctioning unit in the short run, over time, an aging unit will end up costing more in repairs than it would cost to replace the unit altogether.

We recommend the industry-standard “5000 Rule”: multiply the age of the HVAC unit by the repair estimate you receive from your HVAC technician. If the result is more than $5,000, you should consider replacing the unit completely. For example, if your HVAC unit is seven years old and will cost $1,100 to repair, it may be more cost-effective long-term to purchase a new system.

Is your current unit energy-efficient?

New technological developments have made HVAC systems much more energy-efficient while also keeping operating costs low. As a general rule, we recommend replacing systems more than ten years old regardless of operating condition. Over time, more up-to-date and energy-friendly units will pay for themselves in utility savings and environmental tax credits.

Is your current HVAC system reliable?

Even with newer energy-efficient models, maybe your HVAC system is simply a dud. If repeated repairs and malfunctions have nickel-and-dimed your budget for an extended amount of time, it may be time to cut your losses and consider a replacement unit.

Does it meet your needs?

Finally, consider whether your current system is working for your needs. Is your HVAC system sized appropriately and powerful enough to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your entire home? If you’ve renovated your home or built an addition, make sure that your system can service the entirety of your newly-expanded living space.

Ask a professional.

The only way to be certain of the health of your HVAC unit is to conduct regular inspections and maintenance. Occasionally, even new and well-functioning systems can experience irreparable breakdowns that may require a full replacement. John Waters Inc. offers full maintenance and inspection services to put your mind at ease and keep your home and family comfortable through the hottest (and coldest!) months of the year. Call to schedule your inspection today.

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