There are many responsibilities that homeowners face in the proper care of their home’s equipment. Even during the off-seasons, a home’s heating and air conditioner units require specific itemized checks of their functions. In addition fuel or refrigerant replacement, filter and ventilation cleaning, and regular maintenance visits from professional technicians, are all necessities.
However, even the most diligent homeowner can come across situations when the HVAC system isn’t functioning properly, leaving in question when a new system is needed. Here, we will look at a few tips on how to recognize if you need to replace your HVAC unit, as well as a few of your options.
Common HVAC Unit Issues
Although there are many different types of HVAC units, the tell-tale signs of needed maintenance are the same. The most noticeable issue with an air conditioner is its inability to cool your home to the thermostat’s set temperature. Before you consider that your HVAC unit requires replacement, check your thermostat itself. Something as simple as switching the smaller unit’s batteries could solve the issue. However, if you’ve already determined that the thermostat isn’t the issue, the next step is to inspect your home’s ductwork and air filters.
It’s important to keep in mind the dual importance of your AC system’s filters. Not only does the filter prevent dust, debris, pet dander, and other natural allergens from entering into your family’s breathable oxygen, but the airflow’s consistency keeps your home energy efficient. When your HVAC system’s filters are clean, the air flows freely. If the filters are clogged, however, the unit will run at full force round-the-clock. This can raise your energy bill and decrease the air conditioner’s overall lifespan. Expert HVAC technicians recommend that homeowners change their air filters every few months to avoid these issues. Likewise, if you’ve been changing those filters regularly, yet the airflow problems continue, it’s always the best strategy to schedule a regular maintenance call before the issues get worse.
When to Replace Your HVAC Unit
If you’ve been through the basic checklist of possible air conditioning problems and have been advised by a technician that you need a new HVAC system, there are many available options to consider. Before you go shopping for that new HVAC system, however, it’s important that you know your most important needs, as well as the scope of work required for each AC unit style. Of course, your budget may be a factor, too. If you have an older home and plan on remaining there for many more years, investing in a new central air conditioner or more modern heat pump unit may be worth the money.
With either variation, new ductwork is required for the installation. A central air conditioner will cool off your house in equal measure and, in the case of new technology, can be controlled digitally or remotely. A heat pump system, however, has the additional benefit of replacing both your AC unit and heating system with a single machine. A relatively new technology, a heat pump uses outdoor air, cools or warms it according to your seasonal preferences, and then transports that same air throughout your house.
While this type of unit requires a complete revamp of your ductwork, compressor units, it has two major benefits worth the investment. Not only can the heat pump option make your home significantly more energy-efficient (which lowers your energy bills and may entitle you to tax credits), but the modern style increases your property value. If you ever decide to put your home on the market, the installation of new, energy-efficient air system technologies can prove very attractive to potential homebuyers.