Should I Repair or Replace my HVAC System?
Your Baltimore air conditioning repair, installation & service company.
While there are many variables in any particular home, the main points regarding repair or replacement of your air conditioning and heating system are relatively simple concepts. Certain telltale signs indicate it’s time to consider replacing heating and cooling equipment, or improving the performance of your overall system.
How old is your system? Is it inefficient?
If you’re A/C system is older than 15 years of age, it is likely your air conditioning system condenser is operating at a 8 SEER or lower. According to the Department of Energy for each increase of 1 point on the SEER rating for your air conditioning system you will receive an approximate 10% increase in efficiency, in other words you should expect a 10% reduction in your utility bill.
Therefore a 9 SEER air conditioning unit is 10% more efficient than an 8 SEER air conditioning unit, and a 13 SEER air conditioning unit is 50% more efficient than an 8 SEER air conditioning unit. In 1992 the Department of Energy mandated the lowest SEER that could be manufactured was a 10 SEER unit. We all know mandates change regularly; the current federal mandates require a minimum of a 13 SEER air conditioning condenser unit.
If your furnace is older than 10–12 years and starts breaking down, or if you think your gas bill is too high, it may be time to consider a replacement furnace. If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, you must replace the furnace for safety reasons. A cracked heat exchanger can draw carbon monoxide into your home, so it is cause for an emergency furnace replacement.
There are several things to consider when your furnace breaks. The age of the furnace and past experience with repairs must be considered. If your furnace has seen its share of replacement parts then either you have a lemon or the darn thing is just getting old. With inexpensive parts, you can certainly take a chance and hope for the best. If the part is a high cost item then you must consider the overall cost against the advantage of the savings you could realize with a new furnace.
When it comes to your high gas bills, here are some basic numbers: Furnaces older than 5 years may have efficiency ratings as low as 60%. Essentially with this furnace for every $1 you spend on your gas bill, 40 cents is lost to the outside, doing nothing to heat your home. Current federal standards require efficiency rates of at least 80% in new furnaces, but high-efficiency units can achieve rates over 96%. That 40 cents of every dollar that you lose to an older furnace could be less than four cents with a new, high-efficiency unit.
How much are your utility bills?
Find out how much energy your heating and/or cooling system is consuming and what is it costing you. A new high efficient system can potentially save you 15%-20% on your utility bills.
Has your system been maintained properly over its lifetime? Does it need frequent repairs?
Bi-yearly maintenance checks can prevent costly repairs and keep your heating and/or cooling system running at its peak efficiency.
What is the problem that you are experiencing with your system?
A simple repair might solve your problem. Call us today to have your problem diagnosed.
Is your heating or cooling system noisy?
Your heating or cooling system could have an undersized duct system or a problem with the indoor coil.
Are you comfortable?
What is the temperature in your family room? Is it warm enough/cool enough? A high efficient furnace or heat pump can make your home more comfortable.
Changing your filters regularly can help your system run more efficiently as well as making sure that your humidifier is set to the proper level. Most importantly, having your system checked twice a year by a professional is vital to keeping your system running at its peak efficiency. If you are experiencing trouble with your furnace, heat pump or air conditioning system, give us a call. We will send out a certified technician to diagnose the problem and give you an honest assessment.
We service and repair all major makes and models, including Trane, Bryant, Carrier, Goodman and York. Our customer service reps are standing by to take your call 410-633-3737.
The three main reasons why you would need to replace a furnace are:
Extremely old and inefficient.
If you moved into a home that was built in the 1960’s or even earlier then chances are that it has an old boiler system or even just an older furnace or heat pump. It doesn’t always mean that you will need a new system but chances are that your system will need an overhaul to make it energy efficient for you.
High cost of fuel to run your furnace.
Find out which is least expensive in your area: gas or electricity. Then look to using the least inexpensive resource for your system.
Heating load is the amount of energy required to maintain a steady 65-degree temperature indoors. To find out your heating load, you may want to consider contacting your utility company to perform an energy audit which will help you figure out ways to make your home more energy efficient- and possibly save you from replacing the entire furnace or a/c unit. If you find that despite your efforts your furnace or Air conditioner continues to work inefficiently then you will probably need a new furnace and/or Air conditioner.
If you replace your system with a 95% efficient system (look for an energy star furnace or a/c system and compare the AFUE and BTU levels too), then you could cut your heating bills by around 20%. To see if it’s worth spending the money, add up your fuel bills for last winter, then multiply that sum by 20%. Divide that figure into the cost of buying and installing the new system, about $4,000 or so, and you’ll see how many years it will take to recoup your money.