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Should I Repair My HVAC Unit or Replace It?

man repairing outside AC unit

Does my HVAC system need repair or replacement? This age-old question is common among homeowners when their HVAC system starts to show signs of wear and tear. However, answering this question can be challenging, as there are multiple factors to consider when choosing your HVAC system’s fate. 

At ACS, we offer high-quality HVAC repair and replacement services and exclusive industry insight to help you make the right decisions for your HVAC system. If your furnace or air conditioner is acting up, allow us to evaluate whether it needs a fine tune-up or a complete overhaul. Below, our experts have compiled a list of factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your existing HVAC system. 

The Age of the Unit

When it comes to HVAC systems, no unit can withstand the test of time. Though a consistent preventive maintenance plan can extend your HVAC unit’s life expectancy, there will always come a time when your unit needs a replacement. Typically, HVAC systems can last for at least a decade. But once they hit the 10-year mark, you may notice some wear and tear. The average air conditioning system lasts about 10-15 years, while a furnace can last upwards of 20 years, depending on its model. If you have maintained a consistent preventive maintenance routine throughout your system’s lifespan, chances are your HVAC unit has some longevity. However, once it reaches the age of 15-20, any breakdown may warrant a system replacement. 

The Cost of the Repair

Choosing between a repair or a replacement can often come down to cost. While repairs are usually cheaper than an entire system overhaul, they can add up quickly. If your system consistently requires repairs, it is best to invest in a new unit. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate your system’s age and repair-to-replacement cost ratio. If your HVAC equipment is under ten years old, and its repair cost is less than half the replacement cost, you should opt for the repair. However, if you’ve had the system for over a decade and the repair cost is more than half the replacement cost, consider installing a new unit. 

Energy Bill Trends

If you’re going back and forth between repairing and replacing your HVAC unit, pay attention to your energy bills. Rising energy costs indicate a deteriorating HVAC unit, as your heating and cooling systems are working overtime to compensate for your unit’s poor performance. If you notice sudden upticks in your energy bills, this could mean a replacement is in your near future. However, if your bills are consistent month after month, your system is likely operating at peak performance and should only require repairs if issues arise. 

Frequency of Breakdowns

Does your HVAC unit constantly break down? Do you have your air specialist on speed dial at this point? If so, it may be time for a system replacement. Frequent breakdowns are a clear sign that your unit is on a downward spiral, and investing in a replacement may be your only option. If your HVAC system breaks down only once a year, this is probably a minor, quick fix. However, if you’re experiencing breakdowns more than once a year, investing in a new, high-performing HVAC system could be more cost-effective.

Safety Concerns

When safety is concerned, deciding to replace or repair an HVAC system is easy. Certain HVAC components, specifically your heating system, can be a safety hazard when not working correctly. For example, if your furnace’s heat exchanger is cracked, it could lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. In this case, the only answer is to replace your heating unit immediately. However, more minor issues like stuck valves or faulty wiring are less high risk and may only require a simple repair. If you are unsure whether or not an HVAC issue is a health or safety concern, consult your local air specialist to learn more. 

Heating and Cooling from ACS

If you’re searching for HVAC repair or replacement for your heating or cooling system, don’t hesitate to call ACS. Our HVAC-certified technicians offer top-quality workmanship and lasting HVAC solutions for homes and businesses of all sizes. For premium HVAC repair and replacement in Covington, Milledgeville, and surrounding areas, contact our team today!