When purchasing a home, home buyers are well aware that replacement projects will always be needed. The goal is to minimize how often replacements or repairs actually occur. Homeowners would love nothing more than to just enjoy the ins and outs of their homes without worrying about expensive projects. One of the more expensive projects is HVAC system replacement. When the HVAC system fails, it usually fails during the hottest months or coldest months of the year. Essentially, when homeowners need it the most, it fails. What to consider when replacing HVAC? The most common areas to consider are energy efficiency and HVAC fit for the size of your home.
Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding what to consider when replacing your HVAC.
Your First Steps
There are a few areas and items to consider when you are looking to replace your HVAC system. Some helpful tips are listed below:
- Get to know how much you can estimate the replacement costs would be.
- Decide if replacement or repair is needed
- Determine the correct size HVAC system for your home.
- Read up on the terminology of an HVAC system, so you can communicate properly with contractors.
- Research an HVAC system checklist.
- Understand the process for HVAC system installations.
What Should I Consider When Replacing My HVAC
Believe it or not, there is a pretty substantial list of things you need to look into before replacing your HVAC system. The system is so complex, that you might just need a simple solution, rather than a full HVAC replacement. Take a look below at the list of things you should consider when replacing your HVAC system.
- Age – consider how old your current system is. In most cases, you will get between 15 and 20 years out of a good HVAC equipment. However, if you live in an area with high moisture and salt air, you are likely only going to get 5 to 10 years of longevity out of your unit.
- Repair costs – simple fixes like cleaning out a clogged drain line will save you from a full replacement. If one part clogs up or breaks down the system will not work as efficiently. This does not mean you need a whole new unit. However, if your parts are major components and the bill will be over 50% of the value of the system, it is time to replace the whole system.
- Maintenance – conduct maintenance every 1 to 3 months to properly maintain your air conditioner. Doing this will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system. You will notice that the energy output is consistent and your energy bills will balance out. In addition to filter changes and drain cleanings, make sure to have the entire system checked at least once a year.
- Energy efficiency – when you purchase an HVAC system you will notice something called the “SEER” rating. This stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and tells the consumer how efficient the HVAC system is. The higher the SEER the more energy efficient model the system is.
- Freon – if your old system requires freon, then it is a great idea to upgrade your system. As of 2020, the use of freon in an ac unit has been phased out. Additionally, freon is no longer being produced in the U.S.
- Matching system – in many cases your HVAC system does not meet the needs of your home. Builders often install cheaper and less energy-efficient systems in order to save and simply meet the building code.
- Comfort – if you are noticing that it takes the system longer to cool your home or that you have to lower the temps more than before just for a comfortable feeling, your system is probably fading. The moment that comfort in the home becomes an issue is when you need to consider replacing your system.
- Technology – after your system approaches the 5 year mark, you can always count on new technology taking over. Technology upgrades to your HVAC system are necessary to maintain the high levels of energy efficiency. Some technologies that are always adapting are thermostats, variable speed motors, interactive controls, and even communication systems.
- Incentives – while you get quotes and installation estimates on a new system, go ahead and ask what the rebates or incentives are going to be. Manufacturers will often provide incentives and strong warranty’s to separate their product from someone else’s. Make sure to register your new system with the manufacturer to maximize all rebates and incentives.
- Lifespan – knowing how long you will be living in the home can often dictate your decision on spending more money to upgrade your HVAC system. However, if you are looking to sell the home, a new HVAC system is a huge selling point. It will put any buyer at ease, as one less major purchase is needed to update or upgrade the home.
Also, keep in mind that you might need to replace the heat pump or condensing unit on your heating and cooling system. It is highly recommended that you look into repairs first, to save money. Additionally, you will want your unit to perform with high efficiency to reduce your utility bills.
How Much Does It Cost
HVAC systems are one of the higher-priced project items on the list of homeowner purchases. The national average range of HVAC system replacements goes from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the needs of the home. It is conceivable that you will spend close to $7,000 for a new unit on a home that is around 3,000 sq. feet. Keep in mind that prices will vary based on the size of the home, manufacturer, labor installation charge, and the new unit’s efficiency rating.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you have assessed the areas that you should consider before replacing your HVAC system, you can look into your maintenance schedule. Making sure that you are maintaining your HVAC system on a regular basis is important to extending the longevity of your HVAC system. Consider reading up on how often you should maintain your HVAC system.
Next, look into how long an HVAC system lasts. If you have started to notice a few warning signs regarding your HVAC system failure, it is a good idea to explore how old your system is. Also, the weather conditions in the area can contribute to the shortness or longevity of your HVAC system.
Lastly, if you aren’t really sure what you are looking for, call your local home inspection team. They will come out and inspect your HVAC system as part of their full home inspection.
When Do I Call A Professional
The moment you begin to hear clanking sounds or clicking noises, or even experience discomfort in your home, it is time to call an HVAC professional. Repairing or replacing your HVAC system is not something that homeowners can do on their own. There are rules and regulations involved, as well as special training that is needed to become a professional HVAC technician. If you aren’t sure who to call regarding HVAC service and maintenance, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can ensure that you are paired up with the most reputable HVAC service technician. Also, they can inspect your entire HVAC system, which can save you time and money.
Homeowners that are always looking to save money can also be a hindrance to their level of comfort in the home. Skimping on an HVAC system due to cost is not the most favorable idea. You can save money in a lot of other areas of the home, but getting cheap on your HVAC system is not a great move. Always consider your comfort level, energy efficiency, and resale value when buying a new HVAC unit. If you aren’t sure which direction to take, call on your local home inspection team. They can inspect your HVAC system during a full home inspection and recommend systems that would meet your needs. Call on Liberty Inspections to inspect your HVAC system during a home inspection in the Western, KY, Fort Campbell, KY, and Middle Tennessee areas.