Texas’ average seasonal temperatures are now about 2° warmer than in the 20th century.
So, it’s no wonder that in 2021, Texans experienced the hottest December in over 130 years. According to climatologists, climate change is to blame. However, it’s also why the Lone Star State experiences extreme cold.
Unfortunately, both temperature-related events are dangerous, even deadly.
That’s why you need efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) at home. For the same reason, it’s best to get an HVAC replacement if your existing one is already on the fritz. Otherwise, your home may get too hot or cold, putting your health at risk.
The question is, how can you tell you need to replace your residential HVAC system?
We’ve listed the top signs that can help you answer that question below, so be sure to read on.
1. System Is Past Its Mid-Life Point
The life expectancy of room air conditioners is 5 to 7 years, while it’s 7 to 15 years for central AC units. On the other hand, furnaces can last for 15 to 25 years.
Their mid-life point, in turn, refers to the middle of their life cycle. A simple way to determine this is by dividing their estimated life expectancy by two.
So, let’s say your central AC has a 15-year estimated service life, but it’s now a decade old. That means your cooling system is past its mid-life point. In that case, now’s a good time to consider equipment replacement.
One reason is that the older an HVAC system is, the less energy-efficient its technology is. For instance, it’s likely to have a lower seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER).
An example is a home AC unit made before the 2015 SEER mandate, which raised the minimum SEER requirement to 14. If your air conditioner’s manufacturing date preceded that, it likely has a lower SEER.
Unfortunately, the lower the SEER, the less energy-efficient the unit is. In short, it uses more energy.
2. Skyrocketing Energy Bills
An increase in utility bills is one of the most common signs of a failing AC or an aging HVAC system. It may already have a lower SEER, to begin with, but it can also stem from the degradation of the unit’s components.
A lack of maintenance and wear and tear can also make your heater drive your utility bills higher. Moreover, older gas furnaces have low annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. A low AFUE rating, much like a low SEER, translates to poor energy efficiency.
Don’t forget that a gas furnace relies on electricity, too, as it has electrical components. That includes the blower motor that powers the fan, which, in turn, circulates air into your home.
So, if your old HVAC system is causing massive spikes in your energy bills, consider replacing it.
3. You Want a Greener Home
About 20% of US energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from households. The bulk of those emissions, in turn, stems from the use of home heating and cooling systems.
GHG emissions are a global concern, as they’re the primary driver of climate change.
Therefore, using less energy at home is one of the best ways to reduce your household’s GHG emissions. So, if you’ve always wanted a greener abode, you might want to consider replacing your old HVAC system.
4. Consecutive HVAC Problems
Let’s say you had to call your local HVAC company half a year ago because your air conditioner was leaking. Then, a few months after, you had to have it fixed again since it was making a racket and blowing out little to no cold air.
Now you’ve noticed your AC is short cycling. Note that this issue, characterized by a unit that keeps turning on and off, also affects furnaces.
The sum of all those repair bills can give you a shock, as you might have already spent hundreds of dollars. So, the next time your HVAC system acts up again, recall the last time it underwent repairs. If it’s had multiple service calls in under a year, it may be best to replace the system altogether.
5. Simultaneous HVAC Woes
Common HVAC problems can occur immediately after another, or worse, simultaneously.
For example, debris accumulation in your air filter can result in poor airflow. It can also cause excessive dirt build-up on HVAC parts, leading to frozen coils and leaks.
As all of that’s happening, your system also has to work harder to compensate for its poor performance. From there, it may not take long before its motor overheats. That can then lead to the motor breaking down completely.
So, if that describes your current situation, it’s best to contact your local HVAC company. That way, the pros can assess your system and see what needs fixing. However, if you need multiple repairs and part replacements, it may be best to get a new unit altogether.
6. Costly Repairs Paired With Old Age
Your air conditioner’s compressor is the component that pressurizes the refrigerant. It also plays a role in releasing heat into the outdoor air. So, if this part of your HVAC system fails, it won’t be able to cool your home at all.
With such critical tasks to play, it’s no wonder a compressor replacement can cost you upwards of $1,000.
Other pricey HVAC components are motors, gas valves, evaporator coils, and heat exchangers. Replacing those parts can also set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
With that said, if you have to get any of those parts replaced, be sure to factor in your HVAC system’s age first. An HVAC replacement service may make more financial sense if it’s also old.
7. You Want Lower Energy Bills
The more energy-efficient an HVAC system is, the less energy it uses to heat or cool a home. Thus, the lower its energy usage, the more significant the reduction in your energy bills.
That’s how installing new HVAC units can help you save in the long run.
However, if you want the most energy savings, go with Energy Star-certified equipment. Such cooling and heating products can help you save 10% to 30% on your yearly energy bills.
Schedule an HVAC Replacement Service Today
There you have it, your ultimate guide on determining if you need an HVAC replacement. So, if your existing system exhibits any of the signs listed above, you may be better off getting it replaced.
Are you still on the fence about getting your HVAC unit fixed or replaced? If so, and you live in Austin, Georgetown, or a nearby area, we here at Schneider Mechanical can help. Call us now, and we’ll be happy to help you make the right decision!