Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most significant and most important investments in your home. Like other home appliances or equipment, this system will have an expected service life, and while you want to make the most out of it, time will come where you will need to replace it.
Damaged or old HVAC systems will bring you and your family more troubles than the expense of replacing it with a new unit.
Listed in this article are seven signs that you need to replace yours:
1. HVAC system’s age
The Department of Energy recommends to replace it every 10-15 years. There are different lifespans depending on the kind of system you have installed.
Air conditioning can be efficient for up to 10 years, while a boiler can last up to 15 years. The older it is, the less efficient it can become. Technology is improving rapidly, and more modern units can have more efficiency and features than an older one. If you're looking to upgrade your boiler and you aren't updated with the latest units, you can go on Boiler Central for definitive reviews and comparisons of the best new boilers on the market.
Here are the effects of an old HVAC system:
More repairs are needed, which could ultimately cost you more than buying a new unit in the long run.
Your home becomes uncomfortable because you can’t have the cool or heat that you desire.
You can have higher energy bills because the system exerts more effort in doing its work due to old age.
2. Recurring repairs and services
It’s crucial that you have regular maintenance for your HVAC systems, and there could be a few repairs within the system’s lifespan.
Willard Power Vac in Portland, Oregon, can help with these kinds of services and repairs. However, when you notice that you’ve been asking professionals to come over more often, it might be time to replace your system entirely.
If the cost of repairs is more than 50% of a new one, it’s definitely a sign you can’t ignore and get your system replaced as soon as possible to save you from more financial strain.
3. Unusual noise
Well-maintained and efficient HVAC systems operate quietly or at least with relatively quiet sounds. Hearing unusual sounds usually call for a repair, and if the noise recurs after multiple servicing or maintenance, it could well be time for a replacement.
Here are some of the sounds you might hear:
Grinding and squealing noise which could be from its parts or components.
Screeching sounds that could indicate motor-bearing problems.
Loud rattling noise that could mean something is coming loose.
Loud banging sounds when it’s running could mean something has disconnected or broken. It’s important to shut the system down and seek professional help.
4. Increasing energy bills
If your energy bills are rising even with your efforts to create an energy efficient home, you might want to consider having the system checked. Even when there are seasonal changes, your energy bills shouldn’t drastically increase for the same month in different years.
There are instances when you might only need cleaning, however, if your system is well-maintained and your bills are still going up, your system is getting old, less efficient, and needs replacement.
5. Your home isn’t as comfortable
It is designed to regulate your home’s temperature to a comfortable level. Once you notice that it’s no longer giving you enough warmth on cold winter nights or coolness during the summer days, think about having your system inspected.
These temperature inconsistencies suggest that the system may no longer be powerful enough to supply air throughout your home. A few causes of temperature inconsistencies are:
Cracked or leaked ducts
Inaccurate or damaged thermostat
Clogged air filters
Worn out or loose belts
Filthy evaporator coils
Serious motor damage
6. Odd smells from your vent
Unusual odors often mean that something isn’t right. The strange smell coming from your HVAC system could mean different things, but it’s crucial that you take steps to investigate.
Turn off the unit and use a flashlight to inspect the vent to see what’s going on. Watch for possible mold growth or melting wiring, among other things.
Some odd smells are:
Musty odor which could mean mold growth.
Pungent smell like stinky feet or dirty socks can indicate clogged condensate drain pans or dirty evaporator coils.
Burning smell can be caused by wiring issues, overheating motor, or other mechanical problems.
Gunpowder smell can mean a burned fan motor or circuit board.
Smell of rotten eggs or sulfur can mean gas leaks, as manufacturers are required to add a chemical called mercaptan to serve as a warning for leaks.
If one of these happens, call professionals immediately and take this seriously. Gas leaks can cause respiratory problems and unconsciousness. It is also flammable and explosive, so it’s best to open windows and get out of the house.
7. Poor indoor air quality
Another sign that you need to replace your HVAC system is when your indoor air quality is declining. Clean and safe air in your home is a priority much more than cooling and heating, but it could be the causing the poor air quality.
Many problems result in prolonged exposure to dirty air like respiratory problems and unexplained allergies. Here are some indicative signs of poor indoor air quality:
Humidity issues that can result in mold or mildew growth, and warping furniture materials, among others
Increased dust buildup around vents and home surfaces, regardless of how often you’re vacuuming and dusting your home
Symptoms of allergies or hypersensitivity like coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, and others, that appear without seasonal or weather changes and disappear when you are not in a particular room or your home in general
It’s vital for you to continually maintain your HVAC system and replace it whenever the time calls to make sure that your family is safe and it’s one of the energy-efficient improvements to increase your home’s value if you want to put it on the market. If you are experiencing and seeing these signs on your system, then you should stop doubting and get a new one.