22 Jun 7 warning signs that you may need to replace your HVAC unit
Early signs are key when finding the right time to replace your HVAC unit
When it comes to your HVAC unit, sometimes it is good to accept to let it go after long years of service.
Before you get started, here are some benefits associated with HVAC units to keep in mind:
- Filtered air thus a fresher space
- Improved efficiency leading to lower energy costs
- Consistency in heating and cooling
- Smart controls
It is impossible to control the elements around you, but the good news is that you can keep your home’s climate under check. Whether in the hottest or coldest months, you need to ensure the temperature in your house remains within a favorable range for maximum comfort.
Types of HVAC Systems
Heating and air conditioning systems come in different types, so you can choose any of them depending on your needs. Primarily, there are three types of HVAC systems, each with its pros and cons, that will help you make informed decisions.
Heating and Cooling Split Systems
These are the most common types of HVAC systems. True to their name, the systems are split into two units: one is used for heating purposes while the other for cooling purposes.
The units have both indoor and outdoor units that you can easily recognize. They have a cooling system on the exterior that uses compressors, coils, and refrigerants to cool air.
Another distinguishing feature of heating and cooling split systems is the presence of a heater which is usually placed in the basement. The heater uses gas to warm up your house.
For purposes of managing interior temperatures, these HVAC systems use traditional thermostats. Most of these units come with humidifiers and purifiers. This way, no matter the weather conditions, your house will always be comfortable.
Hybrid Split Systems
Hybrid split system HVACs have similar aspects to those of split HVACs except for a few variances. These systems are slowly rising in popularity because of their ability to lower energy costs. They do this through their electric hybrid heating system, which distinguishes them from other types of HVAC systems.
Besides, it is possible to switch between the more complete and quicker gas power to the quieter and more efficient electric power with these systems. This way, it is upon homeowners to decide how they want to heat their homes.
Duct-Free/ Mini-Split Systems
This is a unique system characterized by high initial costs but huge benefits afterward. The HVAC units are usually individual units and can only serve one room at a time. As the name goes, they are ductless, and therefore moving them is easy. You have the option of mounting them on your indoor wall or attaching them to an outdoor compressor.
As can be seen above, HVAC units come in different sizes and shapes. The main concern here, however, is how to know whether your system is giving out.
How do you know it is time to replace your HVAC unit? Here are some of the warning signs your unit is going bad.
Increased Running Time
This is a sign that is common in old units, and it screams, “I need a replacement”. You may start noticing that your unit starts up more often, and in some scenarios, it might stay on longer to attain the desired temperature.
The underlying cause for this condition could be bad coils or a failing blower motor. Therefore, it is crucial to inspect these parts before making new installations.
If you find both the blower motor and coils are in perfect working conditions, this could indicate the incapability of your HVAC to produce and circulate the air in your house efficiently. Consequently, it will require more time to heat your space.
If the running time issue persists even after repairs, HVAC experts recommend purchasing a new unit.
While it isn’t uncommon for HVAC systems to make noises as their lifespan advances, the following should be cause for alarm:
- Loud humming sounds from the blower
- Loud noise from the outdoor unit
- A banging and groaning furnace
- Noise before your unit starts up
The cause of these noises could be loose parts or parts in need of replacement. In some cases, the issue could be in the motors, blowers, fans, and other moving parts. However, if this problem persists even after repair, then your system could need some replacement.
Continued Repair Costs
When it comes to HVAC units, a lot of parts are replaceable and repairable. However, sometimes the damage may be too much, and repairs won’t help as much, so it may be necessary for complete replacement.
It is equally important to remember when elements like the coil, motor, or compressor fail, the cost of repairing them surpasses that of getting a replacement by a great amount.
While some may argue that the initial cost of HVAC units is very high, it is nothing compared to the sums of money you will incur on labor and repairs. In the long run, it will be worth it. Once you have the new system installed, make sure you have a regular repair and maintenance schedule to help extend its lifespan so it can serve you well.
Your system exceeds the 10 year mark
When properly maintained, an HVAC unit can guarantee you long years of servitude. It is even possible for it to last you longer than a decade. However, without the proper maintenance, a 10-year-old system is deemed inefficient and outdated and, therefore, the perfect candidate for replacement.
When your unit exceeds the 10-year mark, you can expect increased repairs as well as energy costs because of the reduced efficiency.
It is challenging to keep your house temperature comfortable
In cases where HVAC units have seen better days, it isn’t unusual for them to struggle to keep your home comfortable. They may have to work twice as usual to achieve the same results.
The following could cause such situations:
- Inaccurate thermostat
- Damaged thermostat
- Clogged filters
- Cracked duct
- Damaged motors
- Low fluid levels
Generally, inconsistencies in temperature could indicate that your AC isn’t powerful enough to supply air in your whole house. It could also be a sign of improper installation of the ductwork. Either way, leaving your AC system in this condition could pose a risk. For starters, the air in your home could become unbearable, not to mention the energy bills.
There Is Dust in Your Home
Apart from being tasked with delivering cool and heated air throughout your house, HVAC systems are also in charge of providing ventilation. One sign of an effective system is its ability to improve air quality in your home’s interior. This it does by removing dust, debris, and other impurities from the air and keeping humidity at manageable levels.
So, if your house has been giving you the desert vibe lately, it could be your AC system begging you for replacement. The presence of dust in your space is an indication that your system lacks the efficiency to eliminate it from the air.
Weak Airflow and High Humidity
If you think you’ve had frustrating moments, then you are yet to deal with AC systems that do not blow air full force. How do you notice a change in the volume of air that your AC supplies? All you need to do is hold your hands in front of the air vents and feel the air on them. You may notice that the vents are emitting cold air, but it’s coming out with a weak force. In most cases, the problem lies in the compressor, but it is also possible for faulty ducts to cause this issue. You might want to call your HVAC technician to do the necessary replacements.
While your AC is primarily your home’s coolant, it also plays the role of a dehumidifier–a role you will find particularly important if you reside in highly humid regions. A possible sign that your AC needs repair is its inability to eliminate moisture in the air.
Leaky ductwork, inadequate equipment, and poor equipment operation could result in too much humidity during summer or too much dryness in the winter.
Why it is essential to replace your HVAC unit
As aforementioned, HVAC units’ initial costs are relatively high. This, however, should not stop you from making those purchases as new systems have their perks.
If you are still confused about whether to get a new HVAC unit or continue using your current one, here are a few reasons that will change your mind:
No matter how high the quality of your system is, one thing for sure is that it may not work as efficiently as it used to after long years of service. The years take a toll on it. One thing that is certain about HVAC units is that once they become inefficient, they start to use up more energy to attain the desired temperature levels.
The more and more energy your system uses to release air throughout your house, the more the energy bills will escalate. Sometimes, despite having a good maintenance schedule for your system, the energy bills will continue to rise. If this happens, you’ll know where to get a new unit. Research indicates that replacing your HVAC system saves you up to 40% on cooling costs.
Over the past 25 years, there has been a shift in the type of refrigerants that the air conditioning industry uses. While old HVAC systems utilize R-22 refrigerant (Freon), R-410A (Puron) is the refrigerant newer units use.
When compared to R-22, Puron ensures your unit runs cooler as it is more efficient in absorbing and releasing heat. What’s more? Puron can function at a higher pressure than R-22. For this reason, it is necessary to build air conditioning units for the R-410A refrigerant specifically. Citing the benefits associated with this refrigerant, the chances of these units burning out their compressors are close to none. Also, the units can withstand cracking and several other stresses.
HVAC replacement guarantees more reliability. Moreover, the new unit is in a better position to control excess humidity, dust, mold, and allergens. This way, you can save on energy costs while ensuring the safety of your loved ones.
Getting It Right
Consider a new unit as a chance of starting over on a new slate. Replacing your system means you can make informed decisions on the type of unit you want. Also, if there were installation hiccups with your previous system, this is a perfect chance to make it right.
On the part of the installation, non-professionals can do a shoddy job. They could temper with both the ductwork and the unit itself, rendering it both faulty and dangerous. With proper installation, you stand a high chance of having an efficient and operable system.
The type of HVAC unit you choose for your home makes a big difference, which is why starting over is essential. You will be able to select a unit that suits your needs from a vast pool of options. This aspect is particularly important for people that moved into houses with existing HVAC units and therefore had zero control over them.
Increasing the Resale Value
If you are looking to upgrade your house before selling it to attract a higher resale value, you might as well replace the HVAC unit. This is because before placing their offer, smart home buyers will want to look at your HVAC system. If the system is old and broken, potential buyers could ask for discounts to cater to the costs of upgrading it. Overall, replacing your HVAC system before resale helps you get more for your home.
Reducing Maintenance Costs
Regular maintenance is vital if you want your system to serve you for long. It would be best if you incorporated the maintenance costs into your initial investment.
New HVAC units, however, come with a warranty that covers particular issues for a certain period.
The warning signs above will let you know when the time comes to replace your HVAC unit. And while people associate these units with high initial costs, you’ll appreciate it when you are sitting comfortably inside your house with your loved ones. Replacements ensure not only the comfort of your home but also its safety. So when you are ready to replace your system, contact TMC to discuss options.