Should You Repair or Replace Your HVAC System?

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Your home’s HVAC system becomes “ol’ reliable” during the summer and winter months, with proper heating and air conditioning being crucial to feeling comfortable in your own home. An HVAC unit requires regular care and maintenance to make sure that it’s operating at its peak with each passing season. However, some issues may arise that may have you reaching out to a technician about repairing or replacing your system. Let’s take a look at some warning signs to be vigilant of for the sake of your HVAC and energy bill.

Off-Putting Odors


You may not be thinking about it, but every so often you may have to ask yourself, should you repair or replace your HVAC system? Take an assessment of the unit with each season, keeping in mind that the average HVAC system usually can last up to 15 to 20 years with the proper care. If you notice odd smells emitting from the vents, it’s time for cleaning the ducts and the vents to make sure that allergens like dust aren’t circulating and impacting indoor air quality. An efficient system relies on regularly changing air filters to make sure that any crud doesn’t get blown around.

If the odor is mustier, the issue may be larger and require more expert repair. Mold and mildew may be developing within the ducts, which could be brought on by a crack in the lining that requires replacement in order for the HVAC unit to properly send air from the unit throughout the household. This is a simple repair and can also save you money in the long run for developing issues with mold.

Clanking Noises


When you turn your HVAC unit on for the summer or winter, you may be hearing some metal clanking. Don’t be alarmed. This is quite common when getting a heating or AC system going, and usually dissipates over a couple of days. However, if the loud noises continue, it may be time to call in a technician. A clanking noise can mean a loose piece of equipment somewhere within the unit, impacting the blower and the ability for strong airflow to make its way through the ducts.

If it’s more of screeching noise, you could be dealing with some rust inside of the unit. Depending on the level of damage, it may need the replacement of major components or the possible replacement of an HVAC system. If there’s an unusual smell coming with these noises, it could be time to address the replacement of the HVAC unit. This can be a burnt-out blower motor or fan motor issue that may have resulted from a lack of proper maintenance.

Lack of Airflow and High Energy Bills


One of the leading indicators that an HVAC unit is having trouble is a higher energy bill. Obviously, your electric bill is going to be impacted in the colder and warmer months because of HVAC use. However, if you notice that it’s abnormally high, you may be dealing with other issues. The problem could be a glitch in your thermostat that is not properly triggering the unit on or off. An efficient air conditioner or heater may have other underlying issues.

Clogs in the vents and ducts can create these issues, bringing about an uncomfortable home environment. This is putting additional pressure on the unit for little change in internal temperature. There could be even more significant issues, such as a refrigerant leak, which is a hidden danger for homeowners to deal with and requires the assistance of a qualified HVAC expert. Remember, HVAC systems are a better investment than ever, but that investment only pays off with the right care for the system.

Ahmed Guillen leads OI's editorial staff. He is passionate about professional development and helping our readers navigate starting and enhancing their businesses and investments.

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