Remodeling a home is necessary, especially as a home begins to age. One thing that many people don’t take into consideration during this process is their HVAC system. Most people ignore their units if they are working, after all if it isn’t broke why would they fix it?
However, the average lifespan of a heating and cooling system is only 12 years. The lifespan can be extended a bit with proper preventative maintenance. When taking down walls and rerouting plumbing and electrical, often heating ducts come into consideration too.
So how do you know whether it’s time to replace your unit?
Understanding SEER and Energy Efficiency
If your unit is older than 15 years of age, then you may want to consider replacing it. These units are known for longevity, but the older units don’t have the energy ratings of the new ones.
Each cooling system has a SEER rating. This rating basically tells you how much it will cost to operate that system under normal circumstances. The higher the SEER rating is, the lower the overall operating costs on the unit.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it’s important when choosing the most efficient unit.
Think you can’t afford a new unit right now? Many people don’t budget for a new unit, and when a remodel exposes issues they were not aware of, they often are shocked. However, it’s important to note that these units will save you money and essentially pay for themselves over time.
That relic that is keeping your home comfortable now is probably costing you about one-third more in heating and cooling costs than a new unit would.
Doing The Math on Replacement
If you have had to spend a great deal of money fixing your unit lately, then chances are the costs are not going to stop anytime soon. It’s amazing how many people will spend more money in repairs than just buying a new unit.
If a unit is 15-20 years of age, and you have spent more than a thousand dollars in repairs, that is money you could have spent on a new unit.
Any ethical HVAC contractor would advise you of the repair versus replacement equation to help you figure the most economical way to deal with the unit. Just like a car, once they get some mileage on them, they need to be serviced more often.
Remodeling a home can be an adventurous project that is full of ups and downs. However, don’t forget about the most important system in the home during our next remodeling project. Your HVAC unit keeps you cool in the summer, warm in the winter and just plain comfortable year round.