If you are like many homeowners, you may not be sure when it’s time to replace an HVAC unit like an air conditioner or furnace. Many people aren’t certain how long they’re supposed to last – and if you bought a house with units already installed, you might not be sure how old they are to start with!
Fortunately, the manufacturing year is almost always printed somewhere on your HVAC units, so it’s easy to tell how old they are. But age is just one thing to consider when thinking about replacing AC or furnaces. Here’s everything to think about.
Air conditioners often start showing their age around 15 years or so, which means it’s a good idea to start thinking about a potential replacement. Furnaces, depending on how often they are used, tend to last a bit longer, often 16 to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
The good news is that this is enough time for new advances in technology to make new models much more efficient and longer-lasting, so when you upgrade, you can improve performance, too.
Look for signs in your heating and cooling process that your units may be reaching the end of their lives. They may start taking a lot longer to reach the desired temperatures, or they may start making a lot of noise. Sometimes their performance will start spiking, where some days units will work normally and other days it will seem like they aren’t heating or cooling at all. These are all signs that the unit may be wearing down, and it’s a good idea to get an inspection to see what’s wrong and if a replacement is a good idea.
Refrigerant has Phased Out
Air conditioners specifically use refrigerants to absorb and transfer heat. There are many different refrigerant types on the market, and over time some are phased out by government regulations or used less often so that the refrigerant becomes very expensive. These are strong signs that it’s time to replace your model. However, it usually takes a little research by a professional to find out, which is why inspections are important!
Repair Bills that are Too Expensive
When you face a steep repair bill for your HVAC system, is it a sign that it’s time to replace a unit? One of the ways that we tell is with a simple formula called the $5,000 rule. Get an accurate estimate for the repairs, and multiple that by the current age of your unit. If the resulting number is more than $5,000, it’s probably time to replace that unit altogether than repair it. Big repairs are also a sign that the unit could be breaking down more often in the future, creating more expensive later on that it’s better to avoid.
Do you want a professional opinion on the age of your furnace or air conditioner, and if you should start planning for a replacement? Do you want to take a look at new models and see what your options are? Contact Action Heating & Air today, and we will be happy to help you!