I Repair or Replace Old Equipment?
Three main factors to consider are:
Looking at the big picture
Life Expectancy of Current System
When you’re frustrated with an equipment break-down,
it can be tempting to find the least expensive "quick
fix" to get on with your life in relative comfort. That
"quick fix" may be the least expensive now, but
it may not give you the most value — or cost you the
least — in the long run.
Paying for repairs to an old or inefficient system often
simply prolongs the inevitable. It’s almost like putting
a bandage on a serious injury. An older system that breaks
down once is likely to break down again ... and again. That
means more emergency service calls or, worse yet, the risk
of damage to your home or to other components of your heating
and cooling system.
There’s also an ongoing cost factor to consider. Restoring
your old system will only bring it back to its current level
of energy efficiency. After you’ve recovered from the
repair bills and the frustration of system breakdowns, you
still won’t save on your energy bills.
Even six-year-old heat pumps and air conditioners are considered
grossly inefficient by today’s energy efficiency standards.
So are most furnaces built before 1980. So you could save
up to 60% on your energy bills with new high-efficiency equipment.
That’s why installing a new heating and cooling system
can actually pay for itself in energy savings within a relatively
Looking at the Big Picture
When one component of your system breaks down unexpectedly,
it’s easy to just focus on repairing or replacing that
component. But each part of your system works with the others
to boost efficiency and reliability, so it helps to keep the
big picture in mind.
Replacing your old furnace with a new higher-efficiency model
but leaving your old mechanical thermostat in place, for example,
won’t allow you to enjoy all the efficiency advantages
the furnace has to offer. Likewise, if you install a new furnace
but don’t get a humidifier, the air may seem cooler,
forcing you to operate your new system at a higher temperature
to be comfortable. Plus, you can often save on installation
costs if you have several components of your system (for example,
a furnace and an air conditioner) replaced at the same time.