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Should I Repair or Replace my Air Conditioning or heating unit?

HVAC repairs – 5 questions to ask to help you decide it it’s time to purchase a new furnace or air conditioner

Some heating and cooling companies seem to think that any air conditioning or heating unit that is over ten years of age should be replaced right away, even if it’s generally in good running order. The argument is that the newer units are so much more energy efficient, so your home will be more comfortable and you’ll see lower energy costs with a newer unit.

If you have provided regular maintenance and check-ups on your HVAC system, there’s a good chance you can keep it working efficiently for longer than 10 years. No matter what make or model you choose, replacing your heating and cooling system is an expensive prospect for most homeowners. As soon as your HVAC system hits the 10 to 12 year mark, there are some factors to consider if you should repair a unit that is showing signs of age.

No one wants to get caught with a complete system shutdown during weather extremes, but why retire a heating or cooling unit when it still has a few good years ahead? You’ll probably need to make a snap decision should the time come, so here are some important considerations to help you decide to….. Repair or Replace?

  1. How extensive is the HVAC repair? If it’s just a minor repair, such as an electrical issue or a clogged drain line, the repair is the obvious choice. Replacing a blower motor, compressor, or condenser coil is much more expensive, so you think you’ll have to replace the entire system in a year or two anyway, it’s probably time for the new unit.
  2. What is the cost of the HVAC repair? If the repairs alone are going to be more than 50% of the cost of a brand new unit and your system is not still under warranty, you should probably consider a replacement.
  3. How energy efficient is your current unit? If the SEER rating (that measures the operating efficiency) of your current unit is under 13, there are much more efficient systems on the market. You’ll save money on energy costs in the long run if you upgrade now.
  4. How often has the furnace or air conditioner needed repairs in the past 10 years? Three or more major repairs may mean it may be time to retire the old system.
  5. Is your current unit the right size for your home? If it’s over- or undersized it’s probably not working efficiently, so you’re sure to see savings once you have the correct size system installed in your home.


Other considerations that might tip the scale include:

  • Do you have other expensive items that need replacing or major repairs right away (car, roof, etc.)?
  • Are you considering installing a whole home humidifier, air cleaner, or media cabinet (to hold higher efficiency 4” thick filters)? It’s easier and cheaper to add these comfort enhancements during the installation of a new system, so you may want to take care of everything sooner rather than later.

Even if you jump the gun a little on purchasing a new system, you will certainly enjoy greater comfort and lower energy bills with your new air conditioner or furnace. The service technicians at Star Heating and Cooling are dedicated to providing you with the information to help you make a decision that is best for your individual needs.  If you’re in Hamilton or Marion County in Indiana, contact us!