8 Signs It’s Time for a New HVAC System
Modern HVAC systems are built to be energy-efficient and long-lasting, but they don’t last forever. Even with annual maintenance and as-needed repairs, you will need to replace your system every 10 to 25 years. Below are 8 signs it’s time for a new HVAC system.
#1 It’s Not Energy-Efficient
If your system is on the older end of the spectrum, the technology isn’t as energy efficient as newer systems. While it may take a few years to break even, the cost of an upgrade pays itself back in reduced heating and cooling bills.
Also, systems with air conditioners built before 2010 utilize R22 freon. This ozone-depleting refrigerant is now banned. It is not illegal for you to own an old system, but all new systems must contain ozone-friendly freon.
#2 It Runs Constantly
If your heating or cooling runs constantly, it takes longer for your home to heat up or cool down, or you can’t ever get to your desired temperature—you at least need a repair. The blower motor may be failing, the coils may need to be replaced, or it may be time for an upgrade.
On the flip side, if your system cycles on and off more than usual, it’s a sign that something isn’t working properly.
#3 Rising Energy Bill
If your HVAC system is running constantly, your energy bill is sure to be on the rise. The spike may be gradual or sudden. A technician will share what your best options are, including replacing your current HVAC system. Newer systems can be integrated with your smart home technology so that you can keep a closer eye on HVAC performance.
That being said, the reason for your increased energy bill could be a sign that it is time to upgrade or replace your roof, insulation, siding, windows, or doors. Or that it is time to vent your attic or add an attic fan.
#4 Strange or Loud Sounds
HVAC systems will make a few audible sounds when they turn on and off. This is typically a quiet but steady hum. Or a popping sound when your heat turns on and off during cooler times of the year. It is normal for your system to get a bit louder as they age. However, if the sounds progress to more than a medium hum or frequent banging or popping, it may be time for a new HVAC system.
#5 Costly Repairs
Your system should be serviced at least once per year, ideally every 6 months. This will ensure it is running at optimal efficiency and will catch most repair needs before they evolve into something more costly. It will also minimize the likelihood of an inconvenient and untimely breakdown. That being said, if your most recent quote is more than 50% of investing in a new system or the frequency of repairs is on the rise—it’s time for an upgrade.
#6 Excessive Condensation
While condensation is to be expected, leaks or pooling water are a sign that something is awry. It is likely water that is leaking due to a clog or broken part. This leak can grow mold and mildew, and damage other areas of your home. While it may look like water, it could be a refrigerant leak. Freon refrigerant is odorless and colorless, but highly toxic.
#7 Musty Odor in Vents
If you have an unidentified musty or unpleasant smell in your home, check to see if it is coming from your air ducts. This could be a sign of rodent infestation, mold, or mildew. If the smell is strong and smells like something is burning, turn your system off ASAP and call for an emergency inspection.
Sometimes all you need is a repair, but it may be time for a new HVAC system. As an added bonus, newer systems are better at filtering and controlling mold, dust, debris, excess humidity, and allergens.
#8 High Humidity
Air conditioners are designed to both cool and dehumidify your home. If you feel cool air coming out of your vent, but your home is humid—you are at least in need of a repair. This could be as simple as replacing a part, broken duct, or dirty coils. It could also be a sign that your unit is on its last legs.
Not Sure if You Need to Replace Your HVAC?
If you aren’t sure if it’s time for an upgrade, schedule an inspection. An inspection checks everything from your ducts to your furnace and all heating and cooling components. Your technician may also need to inspect other areas of your home including your attic, basement, crawlspace, vents, and more.
If you live in Oakland or the San Francisco Bay area and aren’t sure if you need a new HVAC—give AtticPros a call!