Your HVAC unit could technically last for 15 to 20 years, but earlier failures can occur, depending on several factors, including usage, weather, maintenance, quality and type of installation and original quality. The acronym, HVAC, is the abbreviation for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. “Air conditioning” most often refers to both heating and cooling. You’ll want to ensure you have a model that works to its fullest capacity for as long as possible. Energy efficiency can keep you from spending more on heating or cooling costs.
You should think about when it’s time to replace your HVAC unit. The following considerations will help you get a better idea of what you should be looking for and when you should consider a replacement in order to keep your system running efficiently and keep you comfortable. Here are a few important points to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC unit.
The humidity in your home might be a sign that you need to replace your HVAC unit. The humidity can increase as a result of the HVAC unit not operating as well as it should. Air conditioning is designed to pull heat and moisture from the air. Older units or systems with dirty cooling coils or filter can cause humidity to rise. This can be a time when you need to have a professional inspect your system and possibly time to replace your HVAC unit because it is causing a rise in humidity making it feel muggy and uncomfortable.
A noisy HVAC unit can mean there is a current or imminent problem. Central air conditioning systems are designed to be as quiet as possible. Some are quieter that others, but if you notice an unusual noise or sound you should have it checked. This can happen as age and wear effect the performance of the HVAC unit or parts are about to break down. It is best to catch the problem before you find yourself without cooling or heating. Then you will need to weigh the repair cost against future problems and the cost of a replacement HVAC system.
Inaccuracies in Temperature in Your Home
Your HVAC unit might contribute to cases where you have inaccuracies with temperatures in different areas of your home. For instance, it might be warmer in one room and rather chilled in another room. This could be a sign that your HVAC base is not getting enough air to the many rooms in your home. The problem could be adjustable, or could indicate something else, such as disproportionate distribution of the air through your ductwork, or the unit itself. Again, get it checked. It may not be the unit at all, but rather other adjustments to more evenly distribute the warm or cool air.
The Age Is a Factor
The age of your HVAC system can be especially important. Any system that is at least ten years of age could be costing you more than you realize. Recent advances in air conditioning technology offer much higher efficiency providing much lower annual and seasonal energy cost, plus greater comfort year around. The likelihood of a breakdown increases with age. A new unit could pay for itself in 5-7 years in operating cost.
The last important point involves the dust in your home. Every home has dust, but some more than others. Some dust particles can be harmful to your health, especially to those with other health issues such as allergies or breathing disorders. Pets and people are the mains sources. Your HVAC filtration system offers your best control over the dust in your environment. Adding an in-duct air purifier further cleans your air at a very low cost. Dirty filters and low efficiency heating or cooling reduce dust control and can cause problems.
Make sure you check at least twice per year how well your HVAC system is working. Consider all the costs and other benefits of a replacement before spending money on high cost repairs. You can visit Energy Star for a list of recommended high efficiency HVAC systems, listed in alphabetical order.
For a complete checkup of your system, call the licensed professionals in the Air Conditioning division of Dallas Plumbing & Air Conditioning.