Should You Repair or Replace Your HVAC System?

Someone should invent HVAC equipment that lasts forever. That way, you’d never have to wonder whether to repair it or replace your system. Until then, it’s a question that most Charleston, SC, homeowners face at one time or another. The right decision can save you big money. Here are some questions to consider if you want maximum indoor comfort and cost-effective operation:


High-efficiency heating and cooling systems give you lots more bang for your buck. Energy costs are low; indoor comfort is high. If your system is over ten years old, it will not even begin to approach the efficiency of systems available today. If you repair an older unit, you’ll still be paying higher energy bills: The older the system gets, the less efficient it becomes. But if your older system is still in good shape and functions well, performing a small repair is most likely your best option.

Federal Tax Credits

When you install a qualifying high-efficiency heat pump, furnace or air conditioner before the end of 2016, you can deduct up to $500 from your federal taxes. That’s money in your pocket.

System Lifespan

If a heat pump or air conditioner has been scrupulously maintained, it could last for 10 to 15 years. Well-maintained furnaces can last for 15 years or longer. Units in this age range may not be worth repairing. Typically, if a repair is going to cost close to 50% of a new system, it’s better to invest in a new system and enjoy the additional benefits that higher efficiency systems bring.

Peace of Mind

When you chose to repair an older unit, there’s always the possibility that it might break down again and need replacement during a sweltering Charleston summer or in the middle of the winter. Rather than deal with all the hassles involved in emergency HVAC replacement, many homeowners opt for peace of mind by replacing the unit when faced with a good-sized repair bill.

Frequency Of Repairs

An HVAC system that needs frequent repairs could very well nickel and dime you and still not heat or cool very well. Even if the repair cost is less than 50% of the replacement cost, if may be in your best interest to replace the system at this point. A system that requires frequent repairs may provide only limited indoor comfort, and if it’s an older unit, it may be highly inefficient.

Energy Costs

Are your energy bills increasing every month? An older, inefficient HVAC system can be to blame, especially if there is no other explanation. Although it can seem like energy costs get higher every year, consider whether it’s actually that aging heat pump or AC system that’s draining your wallet.

Repair Cost Versus Replacement Cost

When a heating and cooling repair involves a compressor, a heat exchanger or a motor, the cost to fix it may be a few thousand dollars. At this point, it’s almost always wiser to replace the system than to repair it.

Indoor Comfort Level

If your Charleston home has cold spots in the winter and hot spots in the summer, discuss this with your HVAC technician. Uneven heating and cooling can be an indication that a system is headed for a breakdown.

Smart Technology

A final consideration is whether the cutting-edge technology of a replacement system would make your life better. A Carrier system like the Infinity® 20 Heat Pump With Greenspeed® Intelligence can manage every aspect of your indoor environment, and because it uses only enough energy to maintain your preferred comfort level, no energy is wasted.

To learn more about how you can save money with today’s high-tech and high-efficiency indoor comfort systems, visit M & B Heating and Air, or call 843-628-1775.

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