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When Should I Replace my Furnace or AC Unit?

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

Your heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit (HVAC) is one of the most expensive systems in your home. Regular HVAC repair and maintenance from a certified technician will help the appliance last longer, but even the best units must eventually be replaced. Knowing when it is time to replace instead of repair can save you money in the long run.


Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System


According to Energy Star, an air conditioner and a furnace both last between 15 to 20 years. Conditions of use and how well they have been maintained over the years have a big impact on how long they will last. Buying a new furnace or air conditioner is a big investment, and you don’t want to replace your HVAC system unnecessarily. The following tips will help you decide what to do if you’re HVAC system is causing problems.


The Unit is Over 15-Years Old


Throwing money at an aging HVAC system is a temporary fix at best. As the unit gets older, the breakdowns tend to get more costly. If your AC or furnace is reaching the end of its life expectancy and starting to rack up the HVAC repair bills, it is probably time for a replacement.


Your AC Uses R22 Freon


R22 refrigerant, or Freon, became illegal to manufacture or import in the U.S. as of January 1, 2020. Older air conditioners that use Freon as a refrigerant are being replaced with more energy-efficient models. But if your current AC relies on Freon, locating the coolant will become more difficult and expensive. If your AC is leaking or is starting to need frequent repairs, consider replacing it soon.


The Heating or Cooling is Ineffective


Poor heating or cooling could be improved with a few repairs, but an inefficient HVAC system likely needs to be replaced in most situations. If some rooms in the house are always cold/hot no matter what you do, or if you have recently remodeled your home and added square footage, the HVAC unit may not be sized correctly. In that case, upgrading is the only long-term solution.


Your Energy Bills Keep Increasing


It’s normal to use more energy to keep your home comfortable in the hottest or coldest months. But if you’re seeing a consistent rise in utility bills, a faulty HVAC system could be the cause. A unit that’s old or in need of major repairs must work harder to do the same job. That translates to more energy use and bigger bills.


You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality


The HVAC system does more than just heat or cool the air. It also cleans and conditions it. Excessive dust and/or humidity are signs your unit is no longer doing its job.


Calling for HVAC Repair


Contact the HVAC experts at RJW Mechanical to learn more about the available options when your HVAC system has problems. You may be surprised to learn that a simple repair will do the job. But if your system is outdated, has frequent breakdowns, or is not correctly sized for your home, plan on replacing it as soon as you can.




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