Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is one of your home’s most important systems. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it’s vital to your home’s air quality, as well. In some, if not most, parts of the country, a functioning HVAC system is a must for comfort and safety.
However, replacing your HVAC is expensive – you can count on dropping $4,000 to $12,000 on it, depending on where you live, the size of your home, whether you need new ductwork installed, and other factors. But not replacing it in a timely fashion can cause rising energy bills, as well as moisture and mold inside your home and decreasing air quality. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of a failing HVAC, so you can get your system replaced as soon as possible.
Different Rooms Are Different Temperatures
One of the most common signs of trouble with your HVAC is inconsistent heating or cooling throughout your home. If some rooms are sweltering while others are freezing, it could be a sign that your HVAC is too big for your home – and that it’s short-cycling, or shutting off too soon, as a result. This can not only cause drastic swings in temperature from one room to the next, it can also cause increases in humidity inside your home, which can cause issues of its own.
Faulty ductwork can also cause issues with inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. When you get your HVAC replaced, make sure the technician takes a look at your ductwork, too. It may be damaged or improperly sized.
Your Energy Bills Are Going Up
While the cost of energy certainly isn’t going down, bills that go up from one month to the next during the same season can indicate declining efficiency in your HVAC system. Your system will lose five to ten percent of its efficiency as it ages, but a sudden spike in heating or cooling costs may be a sign that it’s time to consider replacing your unit.
You’re Finding More Moisture in Your Home
An HVAC that isn’t functioning properly can fail to remove humidity from your home, or even make your home more humid. This can cause condensation on windows, around air registers, and inside ductwork. Mildew and mold can grow as a result, and that can affect your indoor air quality and even yours and your family’s health. If you’re seeing an increase in humidity and moisture inside your home, it’s time to call in HVAC contractors in your area, whether that’s Baltimore or Los Angeles.
Your System Is More than 10 Years Old
Nothing lasts forever, and most HVAC systems will need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. If you’re having problems with yours and it’s more than 10 years old, you might want to consider replacing it – because repairs aren’t going to get any cheaper or less frequent as it ages. That’s especially true if your system uses R22 refrigerant, which is scheduled to be completely phased out by 2020. There’s no point repairing something that will soon be obsolete.
You’re Facing Expensive Repairs
Some HVAC repairs are more expensive than others, and all systems will require some routine maintenance or will need some basic parts replaced in order to extend their lifespan. Batteries, capacitors, and contactors are pretty standard, basic repairs that are usually worth paying for, but coil or compressor replacement usually isn’t worth the considerable expense involved. If the bill to repair your HVAC is much larger than you were hoping for, you may want to go ahead and put the money towards a brand new one, especially if the unit is getting older.
The System Seems to Run Constantly
During heat waves and cold snaps, your system may need to work harder to keep your home comfortable. But if your HVAC seems to run constantly, that means it’s struggling to keep up. It could be that the unit just needs a new filter and a good cleaning, but it could also be that the system is aging and just isn’t functioning as well as it once did. Replacing the unit could mean more efficient and effective climate control and lower energy bills.
A new HVAC system isn’t cheap, but it’s one purchase that’s worth making to keep your home comfortable all year round. Know the signs of a failing HVAC, so you can be prepared to replace yours when it’s time.