Why should I replace my air conditioning or heating system?

Air conditioning and heating systems are vital to the level of comfort in your home.  They also are the most expensive appliances.  Many people hesitate to invest a large amount of money to replace such an important appliance unless it is absolutely necessary.

Why should we keep our current system?

A heating and air conditioning system under 12 years of age is generally not considered to be replacement worthy. According to Energy.gov the “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. This means that if your heating and air conditioning system hasn’t had any major breakdowns you could still expect some life out of it if it is under 12 years. Also, consumers who do not have any comfort issues in their home might not need to replace either.

Why should we replace our current system?

There are multiple reasons why replacing an “older” heating and air conditioning system should be done now as opposed to later. Energy efficiency, relevant to consumers through their utility bills, is a major factor. Energy.gov states that today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. These are substantial savings.

A heating and air conditioning system over 12 years old that breaks down will cost you money in repair bills. Investing money in a system of this age doesn’t guarantee you anymore life in the system. Any repair made on your heating and air conditioning system is a gamble after 12 years old as other parts on the system can breakdown at any time. Newer systems can have parts and labor warranty of 10 years meaning not having to worry about any repair bills for an entire decade.

Older furnaces are at risk of getting cracks in their heat exchangers which contain potentially deadly gas called carbon monoxide.  The more years of use a heat exchanger is more likely to get a crack in it.  Heating and air conditioning systems over 12 years old are also more likely to have electrical issues.

Having a heating and air conditioning system over 12 years old does not mean that you automatically need to replace.  Though consumers should look into and weigh their options if they do have an older system.

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