When a breakdown occurs with your home’s HVAC system, you may have to face a tough decision about whether to repair or replace it. To help you make the best choice, it’s wise to talk to a knowledgeable HVAC contractor about your options. Here are some relevant questions and answers to help you get the conversation started.
Is there a reliable rule of thumb to make deciding easier?
A good method of comparing the cost of a repair vs. buying new equipment is the 50 percent rule. This simply means that if a repair is going to cost 50 percent or more of the price of new equipment, replacement is the better option.
Is it necessary to replace the entire system?
When one component of your split-system breaks down and you decide it’s not worth repairing, you might be tempted to replace just that half of the system. This isn’t the wisest choice because you’ll lose out on any increase in efficiency with a mismatched system. Half a system can’t be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications, so you’ll also lose your new equipment warranty.
What role does equipment age play in repair vs. replacement?
Since HVAC equipment reliability declines with age, it’s usually not worth the investment to pay a big repair bill for an older component since it’s likely to break down again repeatedly. If the equipment is less than 10 years old and still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, however, repairing it is the logical choice.
Which option can save me the most money?
If you just look at upfront cost, a repair is always less expensive. For a fair comparison though, you need to consider the lifetime savings provided by new equipment on future repairs, maintenance and energy, as well as the value of a manufacturer’s warranty. Over an expected 10- to 15-year service life, these can help offset the cost difference between repairing your existing component and replacing it with an efficient new system.
For expert help deciding whether to repair or replace the HVAC system in your Dayton home, contact us today at Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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