The best way to make an HVAC replacement and upgrade is when it’s not a surprise. Unexpected emergency replacements have a way of happening at the worst time—such as in the midst of a summer heat wave or winter cold snap—when it’s not only inconvenient but may be difficult to find the best unit at the right price.
To avoid these crisis scenarios, and the accompanying inconvenience and expense, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive.
- A proactive approach means you schedule annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC contractor. You remain aware of the system’s expected timeline for replacement. As the end approaches, you’ve already made informed decisions about replacement options.
- A reactive approach, on the other hand, typically means neglecting planned maintenance and ignoring the system’s age. When a major failure finally occurs, you’re taken by surprise and forced to make an unplanned replacement at an inconvenient time.
Some ways to get proactive and stay that way include:
- If you don’t know the age of your central A/C or furnace, copy down the model number and serial number and contact the manufacturer to find out.
- Estimate the tipping point when repair of an A/C or furnace is no longer worthwhile and upgrading to a new unit is the most viable option.
- Be prepared to replace instead of repair a unit if costs are prohibitive. For example, installing a new central A/C compressor usually isn’t worthwhile if the system is over 10 years old and doesn’t have an extended warranty. Same goes for a cracked heat exchanger in the gas furnace: unless the unit is a high-performance model, repair is rarely advantageous and replacing the entire furnace is a better choice.
- Research current options and determine the best upgrade path before replacement is necessary. Become aware of recent improvements in HVAC technology that now offer higher energy efficiency, more effecting cooling and heating and longer service life.
For professional advice about effective planning for an HVAC replacement and upgrade, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.