To Upgrade or Not? When to Replace Your Air Conditioner & Heater

How do you know when to replace your air conditioner and heater? When your HVAC system is facing a major repair, many HVAC contractors will recommend replacing the unit. But depending on your air conditioner and heater’s age, that may not be the best move. Here’s what you should know so you can make an educated decision before replacing your HVAC system.

Young HVAC systems rarely need early replacement

In general, we have found that most HVAC systems have a life span of about 12-20 years. This means that if your system is one to 10 years old, it is probably in good health. A part or two might fail during an exceptionally hot summer, but in most cases, it will still be under the factory’s limited warranty. It would be extremely rare for us to change a system in this age frame.

There are a great many factors that can affect your HVAC system’s longevity.

When your air conditioner and heater hits middle age, start saving

When your HVAC system is between 10-16 years old is when you start saving for a new system and keep an eye on how the system is performing. We don’t start talking about changing an entire system unless there have been numerous repairs. If you’re in a situation where your system is breaking down a lot, it may be time to consider replacement.

When should I replace my air conditioner and heater?

The HVAC system that is 15 or more years old will need to be replaced soon. These systems are near the end of their operational life, so if you have a costly repair – it might be time to consider replacing it.

There is another exception for older systems that use a refrigerant called R-22 or freon. These systems may need to be replaced sooner. The EPA announced that as of January 1, 2020, no more new freon will be manufactured in the US, and it will be illegal to import new or virgin freon gas. We will have access to recycled refrigerant though. But a declining supply means that the cost of freon will continue to climb. You won’t need to change your system if you have the old freon refrigerant. The only time a change will come up is if there is a major repair or refrigerant leak, since the cost of reclaimed freon is so expensive and in short supply. If your system needs 7-8 lbs, a minor repair can become costly pretty quick.

More environmentally-friendly refrigerants are on the way, so consumers can expect more phase-outs in the future.

How to prolong the life of your air conditioner and heater

An air conditioning and heating system is one of your home’s biggest and most expensive appliances. It makes sense that regular maintenance and service can prevent unexpected breakdowns. We recommend heater tune-ups in the fall and air conditioner tune-ups in the spring. This gives us the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your equipment, resolve any minor issue and perform regular maintenance to keep it in optimal working order.

There are maintenance tasks that homeowners can do such as replacing air filters, but some tasks are best left to a licensed professional for safety and thoroughness.

We can help you keep your home or business comfortable inside

Located in Richmond, Texas, and serving Fort Bend County and Far West Houston, Terry’s A/C & Heating is dedicated to keeping you comfortable year-round. We offer a variety of HVAC system choices to fit your budget-from central air conditioners to heat pumps and mini-split system.  When you get an HVAC quote, we always recommend sleeping on it and getting your questions answered. We don’t do high-pressure sales nor do we believe in that strategy.

We want you to be happy with your purchase, and can help you run the numbers or choose an HVAC system or heat pump that can even pay for itself because it is so energy efficient. If you are considering replacing your system, call Rob, Kenny, and Summer today at 281-495-7830 while pricing is at its lowest. As a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we welcome your questions, bid requests, and referrals.

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