Many homeowners wait until their home heating or cooling system has permanently broken down before considering replacement. They figure they may as well get the most out of their system while they still can, and that by doing so, they’re saving money.
That’s not necessarily true, and it’s often better to replace a system while it’s still running rather than waiting for a catastrophic breakdown.
First, many systems break down when they’re under the most stress—the coldest and hottest days of the year—which means you may lose your system when you need it most. This can lead to higher installation costs since a new unit isn’t usually something that can be ordered and replaced on the same day. As a result, you’ll likely end up paying for expedited service, rush delivery, and after-hours labor rates.
Secondly, you’ll be competing with all the other homeowners in the same predicament to get on the schedule at times when HVAC companies are extremely busy, which means you almost always experience a lag time between a free estimate and an installation date.
Why pay a higher rate for an avoidable emergency situation when you can plan your installation, avoid catastrophic breakdown, and lower your overall costs?
If you are waiting for your home heating or cooling system to die, you will want to keep the following four factors in mind when getting ready to purchase:
1: The right size: Just like Goldilocks’ bed, you don’t want a unit that’s too small or too big, but rather one that’s just right. Too large a system will cost you more to operate than it should, while too small a system will struggle to keep up with your needs, and ultimately break down sooner than it should.
2: Check your ductwork: Duct leakage, even in new homes, ranges from 20% to 40% according to the Department of Energy. That means that 20 to 40 cents of every dollar you spend on heating or cooling leaks out of your home. Our highly-trained technicians can inspect your home comfort system to make sure it’s sealed up tight, and can offer a cutting-edge solution called Aeroseal Duct Sealing to repair duct leakage.
3: Reputable Contractors: It’s helpful to read online reviews from places such as Google, or get a personal referral from a friend or family member, when choosing an HVAC contractor. Most HVAC companies aren’t out to swindle anyone, but there are dishonest contractors out there. Beware of too-good-to-be-true prices as well, because the price often goes up with add-ons once the project has begun. Referrals and online reputation will help you avoid shoddy workmanship that costs you more money in the long run in the form of higher energy costs and shortened equipment lifespan.
4: Be Efficient: A new heating or cooling system should last you 12 to 20 years, but be sure to choose a system with the best energy usage possible. Even a small reduction in efficiency by as little as 10%, will add up to a lot of money over 20 years.
So, when is the best time to buy a new system? The answer you may not want to hear is: while it’s still working.