Travis Hale, the owner of True Blue Homes, has some insight on how to decide.
Okay, the worst has happened. Your AC unit went out in the middle of a heat wave. Or, not quite so devastating … you have come to realize your home is not staying cool like it used to be. It’s time to look at that all-important “repair versus replace” scenario. However, there are several things you should know before you make a decision.
We’re talking today with Travis Hale, owner of True Blue Homes in Mt. Sterling, KY. Travis believes there are many things to consider when thinking about replacing your HVAC unit. These include the cost of repair versus replacement, the energy efficiency of your unit, and the overall cost of owning a new HVAC system. These signs will help you decide which course of action to take when your HVAC system needs to be replaced.
Older HVAC systems tend to be more energy-intensive than their newer counterparts, which makes them more likely to experience problems. When checking whether your system needs replacement, Travis Hale recommends an energy audit on your home. This is something any reputable HVAC company can do and will help you identify any ongoing issues, such as air leaks and inadequate insulation.
Travis also says to consider replacing your HVAC system every ten to fifteen years. This is because the components inside it are relatively durable, but after about a decade of use they will begin to show signs of wear and tear. If your unit is more than a decade old, it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician.
In addition to the above issues, Travis warns your system may also be leaking poisonous carbon monoxide. You may need to replace your system if it is leaking this dangerous gas. Alternatively, you may need to replace it if you’re noticing rising utility costs or unexpected repair bills.
Cost of Repair vs. Replacement
When evaluating the cost of repair or replacement of your HVAC system, Travis Hale says his company, True Blue Homes has some guidelines for homeowners to keep in mind.
First, it’s wise to consider the age of your HVAC unit. If it is newer than 10 years, it’s probably fine to get repairs done rather than a complete replacement. Secondly, HVAC units share some components, but it’s not always possible to match up old and new components.
Repairing your HVAC system is a major investment, and it’s important to remember that you’ll be spending money on a long-term investment. Minor repairs can cost between $200 and $700 or more. This can include adding insulation or replacing a vent. Major repairs like a complete replacement can cost several thousand dollars, but they can also add value to your home’s worth in the long run.
Travis also says that many older HVAC systems are prone to leakage, and most leaks indicate a clogged or broken piece. The good news is that if the leaks are small, they can be fixed quickly. However, if you have a more severe issue, it can be more expensive to repair. Luckily, there’s a simple equation you can use to evaluate the costs of repair or replacement.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Consider a new HVAC system, if you’re looking to reduce your energy bills. Energy-efficient HVAC equipment is key to improving the comfort of your home and the environment. Travis Hale of True Blue Homes says that HVAC systems account for about 40% of building energy use, which is nearly twice as much as the amount of energy emitted by cars.
While many HVAC systems are designed with the most energy efficiency in mind, True Blue Homes has several things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your unit even if you are not planning to replace your system. For instance, you should install a programmable thermostat. Also, you should make sure that your HVAC unit is placed in an area that doesn’t receive too much sunlight, and where the temperature remains consistent.
There are also new efficiency standards that apply to heating and cooling equipment. These standards were implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1987 and began requiring air conditioning and heat pump manufacturers to raise their efficiency standards. These new standards have been updated periodically and will push the minimum efficiencies for these units to 30% by 2023. In addition to raising the energy efficiency of HVAC equipment, these standards also require manufacturers to produce a data-driven rationale for installing high-efficiency equipment.
Investing in a New HVAC System
When considering a new HVAC system, many factors contribute to the cost. For example, Travis Hale of True Blue Homes says one things older HVAC systems may lack modern thermostats, which can add hundreds of dollars to the overall cost. Electrical changes can also increase the price. A state-licensed electrician should be used for high-voltage work.
Insulation is an additional expense. In older homes, this may be necessary to reduce heating and cooling costs. This may cost an additional $1,000 to $2,100; however, insulation will improve the efficiency of ductwork and lower utility bills in addition to eliminating mold and condensation. However, it is not a necessary part of a new HVAC system.
A new HVAC systems’ cost is determined on several factors, including the size of the home, the number and type of windows, and your local climate. For a great quote and a free inspection with consultation from a company that truly cares about your needs, just give True Blue Homes a call.
Travis Hale and True Blue Homes is a professionally licensed and insured, family-owned HVAC and home improvement contractor. True Blue Homes has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and is located in Mount Sterling, KY, and serves the Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Cincinnati, OH areas. From project management and planning, to design consultation, their primary goal is to continually exceed your expectations in all areas of home improvement.