Protect your wallet and your most essential home equipment – How to know when to repair or replace a furnace, water heater, or air conditioner.
You already know that there is a problem with your water heater, furnace, or air conditioner you just haven’t realized it. In the back of your mind you might notice that your house is just a little too cold in the winter or a little too hot in the summer. You might also find that your shower just isn’t hot enough anymore. Most importantly you begin to notice your energy or water bill is going up a bit each month. All of these are signs that something isn’t right with one of the most important systems in your house.
If you find out something is wrong with one of the 3 vital home comfort systems, what do you do? Do you buy a replacement and have it installed, or do you hire somebody to repair what you already have? The answer to that question depends on several factors. In some cases, it is definitely worth it to have an appliance or furnace repaired, but in other cases it’s best just to buy something new.
When You Should Repair
As a rule, an HVAC or water heater system can and should be repaired if it is still fairly new and under warranty. If you still have the warranty and your system is still fairly new, by all means call a repair professional because it probably still has some life left in it.
A good air conditioner, furnace or water heater should last you between 15 and 20 years as long as it is properly maintained. Proper seasonal maintenance prolongs the life of your units but also gives you peace of mind that repairing is a solid option. Furnaces, A/Cs and water heaters that have been consistently maintenanced are less likely to need a series of costly repairs. In this case a repair is worth the investment.
When You Should Replace
No water heater or HVAC system will last forever and there will come a time when it will make more sense to replace a faulty system or unit instead of repairing a water heater. If your unit is over 20 years old or isn’t under warranty, you should probably get a replacement. The same goes for systems and units that are running inefficiently. An inefficient furnace, air conditioner or water heater runs excessively, constantly turns on and off and fails to do the job it’s supposed to do. This typically happens late in a unit’s life, and it can cost you a lot of money in energy bills.
Whether you decide to repair or replace a furnace, air conditioner or water heater, you should always talk to a licensed contractor first. A good contractor will be able to give you sound advice on your home’s system and your family’s heating and cooling needs.