As homeowners, we are often faced with a major decision regarding our household appliances: Repair the existing unit or replace it with a new one?

Although much of this can depend on your personal financial situation as well as the specific circumstances, there are some things to consider that may assist you in making the right decision for your home.

How old is the existing equipment?

Existing heating or cooling equipment that is over 20 years old has lived its life expectancy and there is no guarantee how long the unit will continue to function after a repair is made. We generally recommend replacing equipment that is over 20 years old as equipment is designed for 15-18 years of service when regular maintenance is performed.

How expensive is the repair?

repair or replace or existing hvac unit?Although we usually recommend replacement on equipment over 20 years old, it is sometimes worth it to a homeowner to “take a gamble” on a repair in hopes that it will give you some time to save up for the replacement unit. Major repairs on equipment newer than 20 years can take a little more consideration and the age of the unit as well as your financial situation should be considered. For example, a $600 repair on a 15 year old unit may be a good idea for a homeowner without the resources to purchase a new unit, but if the homeowner has the resources they are much better off replacing the 15 year old unit and using their $600 toward this replacement.

How long will you live in the home?

  • If you are planning to sell the home, the decision to repair or replace can be more difficult but generally new equipment will add to the home’s value, where as a recently repaired furnace or air conditioner can be looked at as a liability to a prospective buyer.
  • If you are planning to stay in the home, new equipment can almost pay for itself within a few years. Recent developments in efficiency technology allow newer heating and cooling units to run at a fraction of the utility cost of older units. Replacement should be considered if the repair cost is high and you are planning to stay in the home.

Ultimately, you must decide what works best for your home and your budget. As your heating and cooling contractor, we are always prepared to give you as much information and as many options as we can. We will then provide you with the best repair or replacement service…whichever you choose!