At Ortiz Heating and A/C, we like to educate Contra Costa homeowners in regards to HVAC equipment – which is the most cost-effective, when it may be time to replace or repair, etc. Just like other electronics and equipment, the components of an HVAC system wear out over time, no matter how good the system is. There will come a time you have to replace your equipment, but how do you know when is the time other than complete failure?
The U.S. Department of Energy along with manufacturers of HVAC systems recommend that homeowners have their equipment replaced when it has reached its estimated life cycle, usually about 15 to 20 years for a heater or 10 to 15 years for an air conditioning system. Even homeowners who know their system is old (and perhaps even gone far past its life cycle) often do not heed this advice, mostly because HVAC installation is costly.
Aside from age, there are some indicators that will let you know when it may be getting near time to have a new system installed.
Furnaces. The heat exchanger is the most important component of your furnace; when holes or cracks form, it’s almost a guarantee that you will be replacing it. Signs which may indicate it’s time for a new heat exchanger include soot (either around the furnace or your heater vents) and exhaust odor. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide may build in your home if a breach in your heat exchanger exists. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, pay attention and have your furnace checked out immediately.
Air conditioning systems. A/C systems naturally require more maintenance than furnaces do, simply because they are exposed to outdoor elements (rain, snow, sleet, etc.) and extreme temperature changes. However, if you find that you are having to have your air conditioner repaired regularly (two or three times within the season), there may be a problem that needs to be checked out by a professional HVAC contractor. A poorly installed system or malfunctioning component can cause extensive damage to your A/C system; repairing the cause of a problem will not reverse any damage that has occurred to other parts. You can face serious issues such as a burned out compressor.
A decrease in efficiency and an unusually noisy system are indicators that your A/C system may be worn out. Of course there are little noises you may hear when a simple repair needs to be made, but when the noises become louder, more frequent or continuous, it could be a sign your system is on its last leg.
Sure, replacing an HVAC system is costly, but considering the expense to operate it when it loses efficiency or the cost of constant repairs, you really come out ahead by having a newer, higher efficiency model installed by your Contra Costa air conditioning contractor. At Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning, we help cool and heat your home efficiently, keeping your family comfortable while saving you money on utility bills.