The subject of whether to repair or replace an aging appliance or an older system has fueled a lot of debate in many households. As with any topic that is worthy of discussion, there are valid points on both sides of the argument.
Here at O’Brien Service Company, our goal is to help our clients identify the best possible solutions to fit their goals and their homes' specifications. Keeping that in mind, here are a few issues to consider when it comes time to decide about repairing or replacing an older HVAC system.
- Is the current system under warranty? If so, a repair is a good option, especially if the parts are covered. After all, you paid for the warranty and you might as well use it! Of course, warranties have exceptions and generally don’t cover “acts of God.” If the warranty only covers the parts, it will be necessary to pay for the labor to diagnose the problem and perform the replacement. A good rule of thumb is to ask the service provider to check if your system is covered by any warranties before asking for a quote on a repair price. It’s also important to ensure that any new system that is installed is registered for the warranty.
- Is the system appropriately sized? Whether your system is two years old or 15 years old, if it’s not the right size it will never function at peak efficiency and your home will never be as comfortable as it should be. To ensure that the system is customized to your home’s exact dimensions, it’s vital to have a proper load calculation performed by a qualified professional. This will prevent having a system in the house that is too small, something that will cause it to run continuously as it tries and fails to reach the desired temperature setting. A system that is too large will shut off and turn on constantly, resulting in unnecessary wear and tear. Systems that are too large will be unable to remove humidity from the air, and this can cause moisture issues. While some repairs could help with these issues, the best course of action is usually to replace the unit if it isn’t appropriately sized for your home and causing major comfort issues.
- Is the system a teenager? Considering that the average lifespan of a system is about 12 years to 15 years, a system approaching its teenage years has had a good, long life. There are several valid points on the side of replacing an older system. As the parts of the system age, they begin to break more often. Making an expensive repair does not create a guarantee that the system will not need another new part the next day. Also, most warranties expire after 10 years. The cost to have several repairs can sometimes amount to as much as a new system, so why throw your money away? New systems have warranties, plus they are more energy efficient, which can save you money on your electric bills.
- Are your energy bills extremely high? Several factors can generate high energy bills. A bad part could result in high energy bills, and it’s possible this could be easily fixed. Some high energy bills, however, are just an outgrowth of an older system working hard to keep up. If that is the case, then a replacement may be a great option. Newer systems are more energy efficient than systems that were made 10 or more years ago.
While installing a new system can be expensive, the costs to have repair after repair performed on an older system will quickly add up. Here at O’Brien Service Company, we focus on providing our clients with objective advice and useful information to aid in the “repair versus replace” debate. We recognize that the final decision is up to the customer and we never try to steer clients into something that isn’t the best possible solution for their homes. For a complimentary in-home consultation about a new system so you can compare the costs and benefits of a replacement versus a repair, contact our office today.
Jimmy Williams has owned and operated O'Brien Service Company for over 30 years. O'Brien Service Company's highly trained and versatile technicians can expertly handle complex repairs, installations, and advise you on the benefits of regular maintenance. O'Brien will work on both residential and commercial systems, and is a certified Trane Specialist. Call today to have your system serviced, or to have a free in-home estimate. You can contact us by calling 910.799.6611, or visit our website at http://www.obrienservice.com.