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Repairing vs. Replacing HVAC Equipment: What You Should Know

May 21, 2019

When something goes wrong with your heating or air conditioning equipment, it can be hard to determine what to do first. You may find yourself asking “Should I try to resolve the issue myself?” “Should I schedule a repair?” “Is it time to replace my heater or air conditioner?”

As an HVAC contractor and certified Lennox equipment installer serving the Shenandoah Valley, we know a thing or two about diagnosing common furnace, boiler, air conditioner, and heat pump issues. To help you prepare for your next HVAC emergency, here is a look at when it’s time to schedule an HVAC repair — and when it may be wiser to schedule HVAC equipment replacement.

Heating & Cooling Issues: When to DIY

There are a few heating and air conditioning system issues you can likely address on your own:

  • Improper thermostat settings

It may seem rudimentary, but if your heating or cooling system won’t turn on, your thermostat could be set to the wrong mode. Make sure all thermostat settings are correct and batteries are working.

  • Tripped circuit breaker

A heating or cooling system that won’t start could also be caused by a tripped circuit breaker. Check your home’s breaker box. If a breaker has indeed tripped, flip the breaker back to the “on” position.

  • Clogged air filter

Some furnaces have a safety feature that turns the furnace off when it detects a clogged air filter. If you find that the air filter is clogged, replace it with a clean filter.

When to Schedule a Repair

Aside from one of the above simple issues, it’s typically best to contact an HVAC contractor and schedule a repair or maintenance. An HVAC expert can help you diagnose the issue and get your system back up and running as soon as possible.

Typically, repairing your HVAC equipment will make the most sense if:

  • Heating or air conditioning unit is 10 years old or less

  • Unit has been repaired less than twice over the past 10 years

  • Repair costs are less than 25% the cost of a new unit

  • Energy bills have not significantly increased since last year

When to Replace HVAC Equipment

Not all HVAC system issues can — or should — be resolved with a repair. In many scenarios, it can actually save you more money in the long run to replace equipment before it breaks down completely.

If any of the below scenarios apply to your heating or air conditioning unit, it may very well be time to consider installing a new unit:

  • Heating or air conditioning unit is over 10 years old

  • Unit has been repaired more than twice over the last 10 years

  • Repair costs more than 25% the cost of a new unit

  • Energy bills have increased by over 10% since last year

  • Unit is undersized or oversized for your home

Not sure whether to repair or replace your heating or cooling equipment? Our HVAC technicians can help. Call (540) 870-0423 or contact us to have us assess your system!

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