The most sophisticated — and expensive — appliance or home system in the majority of residences in the United States is the HVAC system. Designed to run reliably through many years of use, your HVAC will nevertheless eventually need replacing. It will certainly last longer if you change the air filter regularly and get preventative maintenance in the spring and fall, but sometimes — after perhaps 10 years or more — the HVAC system will require a complete replacement.
Yes, an HVAC upgrade is an expensive redo. But the good news is that today’s modern HVAC systems are still designed to work for many years. Even better, they’re also designed to heat and cool much more efficiently than HVAC units did 20 years ago.
Maybe you’re not sure if your HVAC system is reaching its expiration date. There are signs that can tell you it’s on its way out, which means you need to start thinking about an HVAC upgrade. Here are some of those signs:
- Failure to heat or cool the home. There can be many reasons for failure to deliver a comfortable temperature, including a cracked heat exchanger, a failing compressor, or leaking refrigerant. (Although you can replace refrigerant, if your aging unit uses R-22 refrigerant, it’s no longer manufactured, meaning you will need to do a whole-system HVAC upgrade, after which you’ll use Puron or R-410A refrigerant.)
- Your unit is at least 10 years old. You’re lucky if you’re one of those homeowners who gets 20 years out of their HVAC system, but just know that after 10 years, you shouldn’t be surprised if your system fails. Most systems will last a long time, but they do eventually wear down, especially with extensive use.
- The unit is short-cycling. Short-cycling is when the unit turns on and off too often and your home never really gets cool or warm enough. This usually indicates a problem with the sizing of the unit — namely that it was sized incorrectly for the home from the start. Short-cycling will wear out an HVAC system before its time. When you do get a replacement unit, make sure it’s properly sized with industry software.
For more on an HVAC upgrade, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.