When it comes to being comfortable, nothing can be worse than arriving home to find you air-conditioner is not working, and the weather forecast is calling for temperatures to exceed 90º! This happens all too often because homeowners are not proactive about replacing their HVAC system. The equipment which keeps a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is one of the most important investments you can make in your home. Much like an automobile, maintenance is key to the life of the vehicle, but when should you “bite the bullet” and invest in a new HVAC system?
Here are a few things to consider whether or not you should be proactive about replacing your equipment.
Recent repairs to your home’s air conditioner
If your system is more than 10 years old and requires a repair beyond wearable parts such as contactors or capacitors, you should consider new equipment. A compressor replacement can cost about half the cost of a new outdoor condenser; and the expectant life of a well-maintained system is only 10-15 years. The compressor moves the refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils, changing from a gas to a liquid, as needed. It is the heartbeat of your air conditioner or heat pump. The evaporator and condenser coils are also a very expensive to repair. If your system is nearing the end of its life, do not pay for a costly parts replacement, be proactive and purchase a new system. Also keep in mind that as your system gets older, its mechanical parts can become unavailable or obsolete.
Is your heating and air conditioning not keeping up?
Does it take longer for your home to cool down in the summer and heat up in the winter? Much like a car, air-conditioners show signs of failure before they actually fail. Pay attention to the performance of your older system. Are there hot and cold spots throughout your home? It could be a sign of your older equipment taking longer to keep your home comfortable.
Higher Utility Bills for your Harrisonburg Home?
If you are noticing an increase in your energy bills, unrelated to the changing seasons, it probably means your system is almost done. In some cases, your electrical costs increase slowly over several months, indicating a gradual reduction in your HVAC system’s efficiency. Be proactive by calling a professional contractor to evaluate your system and provide you with a replacement quote if necessary to avoid a sudden shut down.
Is your system noisy, hearing strange things?
Almost all home appliances make some sort of noise, however, pay attention to any noise unfamiliar or unusual, especially with the HVAC equipment. Excessive vibration and noise, in either heating or cooling can indicate a problem or a performance issue, which should be investigated by a technician. Vibrations tend to increase as equipment ages, such as blower bearings or rotating fan blades. If a piece of equipment is very old and producing a lot of vibration, consider a replacement to also improve efficiency. Loud scraping or metal hitting metal sounds are very serious and you should turn off the equipment immediately. Such noise could be a problem with the blower assembly and would require a diagnostic visit by a licensed contractor.
If any of the above criteria applies to your system, contact Harrisonburg’s local HVAC professionals at Mountain Valley Home Comfort to help you find the right system that meets your family’s needs.