Most manufacturers and technicians recommend that homeowners replace their HVAC systems when the expected service life ends. Most often, that involves replacing your boiler or furnace every 15 years and your AC unit every 10 years.
However, HVAC systems can be expensive to replace and may run efficiently despite their age, so many homeowners don’t heed this advice. Although age can affect your system, you can also look for other signs to determine when you should replace your unit.
A HVAC technician should diagnose unit failure, but homeowners can also look for early signs of failure. If you think it’s time to replace your HVAC system, watch for these indicators.
Homeowners should listen for unusual and excessive noises coming from the heat pump. Noise could indicate a broken or missing piece in the system. Additionally, if you notice your energy bill rise while your monthly electric bill stays the same, you may want to replace your heat pump. You can save a lot of money on your monthly energy bill by making sure your system runs efficiently.
Your heat pump may need replacing if you find that it gets stuck exclusively heating or exclusively cooling your home. Sometimes, the repairs to fix some problems cost more than a new heat pump. In these cases, you should just buy a new unit altogether.
You should also call a technician if you see ice forming on the indoor or outdoor coils. A technician can help you determine what repairs your system needs and if you need to replace your heat pump.
Your gas boiler contains heat exchangers that transfer heat throughout the system. Any damages to a heat exchanger affect the performance and overall efficiency of your boiler.
If you have a faulty heat exchanger, you need to replace your entire unit. Faulty heat exchangers can lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide throughout your home. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, check your furnace immediately. If you suspect damage, call a professional technician to assess the system.
You can identify faulty equipment from water below the boiler. Water could signify a crack in the chamber that holds the heat exchangers.
Your boiler may also break if your system was exposed to excessive amounts of water, such as in a flood. Look for rust as it is a sign of water damage. Always have a professional inspect your boiler before you decide to replace it.
Like boilers, furnaces contain a heat exchanger chamber. Furnaces can experience the same type of damages and risks as boilers because of these heat exchangers, including the potential of releasing too much carbon monoxide.
Most damages in furnaces come from overheating, which causes exchangers to crack. You can prevent cracked exchangers by regularly replacing filters. However, they may still crack from old age.
Other ways to identify heat exchanger problems include exhaust smells, soot near the furnace, or water inside the unit. You may also need to replace your furnace if you find that your rooms are heating unevenly or the air in your home seems dry. As furnaces get older, they release less moisture to condition the air, resulting in dry air.
The biggest indicators of a faulty AC unit include unusual noises, foul odors, and loss in efficiency. However, not of all these symptoms warrant the replacement of your entire AC unit. Call a technician if you experience unusual activity with your AC system.
If you find yourself frequently calling a technician to repair your HVAC systems, consider replacing the unit in question. Appliances often run less efficiently as they age, and you may save on utility bills when you invest in a new system. Watch out for the signs above to know when it’s time.