Repair or Replace: What to Do With This Old Clunker

Friday, August 11, 2017

We have all been guilty of using something that has passed its expiration date, but we thought we could get one more use out of it before it finally failed.  Some people are no different when it comes to their heating and cooling system.  You may have had multiple costly breakdowns, but feel you can get another season out of “Ole Reliable.”  I think we can all agree that breakdowns on things we are trying to “get a little more life out of” often fail at the worst possible time.

When it comes to your heating and cooling system, we see some people doing this very same thing.  If you fall into this category, it may be time to switch into planning mode.  It is always better to be proactive as opposed to reactive.

The heating and cooling system is one of the most important systems in your home.  Waiting until it completely fails is only going to put your “back against the wall” when it comes to replacement.  It is better to be in a position where you can evaluate your options and make the proper INVESTMENT in your home, rather than settling for having to make a quick decision on a costly system.

Choosing the right company to install your system is a process and you will need the right amount of time to make the proper decision.  Again, you are investing in a SERVICE and you need to find a company you can trust.

Maintenance is the KEY…

One way to help avoid this situation is to have your system maintained by a professional company.  Most reputable companies have a service plan that includes regular maintenance, priority service, and discounts on future repairs and upgrades.  It is my advice to find a great company that offers a service plan for your heating and cooling system.  Most companies that service heating and air conditioning equipment will also having plumbing services, which can also be a bonus!

The reason maintenance is so important is because a professional can help prolong the life of your system along with pin point problem areas that may cause a complete breakdown.  Regular tune-ups by a professional can also increase the efficiency of your older system and save you money on your utility bills.  Overall, seasonal service on your system is just as important as getting the oil changed in your car.

3 Things You Should Look for During a Tune-Up

  • Options – When a professional is servicing your system, they should be performing a “360 Evaluation” of the system. While one might think, a furnace does heating and an air conditioner does cooling, their functions are interconnected.  It is also important to identify problem areas before breakdown.  Hence the term “preventative maintenance.”  During this 360 Evaluation of your system, the technician should be asking questions regarding your use of the system, problem areas you have noticed, features you may be interested in, etc.  These questions along with a thorough evaluation should help a professional technician formulate a list of options that address items they might have noticed and/or benefits you desire.  If your technician does not provide you options, BE VERY ALARMED!  They are not providing the level of service you should demand.
  • Education – Any great service company should be looking to educate their customers. Education may come in the form of new product offerings, “show and tell,” and continual follow-up after the tune-up visit with important information.  Technicians should be making you aware of new products that could address issues that you or the technician notice in the home.  “Show and tell” refers to how the technician should be conducting the evaluation.  Any areas of concerns that they may notice should be brought to your attention, both verbally and visually.  Continual follow-up refers to a company’s ability to identify your areas of interest and continually provide you up-to-date information on these solutions.
  • 5-Star Service Experience – When you have a company out to your home, you should demand 5-Star service. A company not willing to go the extra mile when it comes to your satisfaction is not a company you want to TRUST!  During your first interaction with a technician, he or she should alert you that they are intent on providing 5-Star Service and if at any point their service level drops below 5-stars to tell them.  This is a sign of a company and a technician who are not just focused on tuning up the air conditioner and furnace, but rather a technician who is intent on providing the best service possible.

Ultimately, emergency situations are inevitable without proper preparation.  Having your unit properly maintained by a reputable company will allow you to be proactive.  A professional will be able to educated you on when you should look at replacement versus when you should make a repair.  Take this valuable step to avoid being put in a bad situation.

6 Signs You Should Consider Replacing Your OLD System

Is there ever a right time to spend money?  It is often difficult to pull the trigger on a new purchase, especially when something appears to be working.  However, when it comes to your heating and cooling system, there are some definite signs the end is near.  To avoid an anxiety-filled situation, it is necessary to start considering replacement options.

  1. Frequent Repairs – Repair costs on an older unit can add up quickly. If you find yourself sinking hundreds of dollars into your furnace or air conditioner each year, it is time to look at replacement.  A newer unit is going to come with a great warranty and have much newer components that won’t continually fail.  Keep an eye on your yearly repair costs to avoid wasted dollars.
  2. Carbon Monoxide Leaks – The most common failure in a gas furnace is a cracked heat exchanger. A cracked heat exchanger can leak harmful carbon monoxide into the home and is cause to immediately shut your furnace down.  A cracked heat exchanger can only be detected by a trained professional with special tools.  Given the danger this presents, it is extremely important to have your furnace tuned-up each year.  If a crack in the heat exchanger is detected, it is time to replace.
  3. Longer Run Times – Over time, the overall performance of your system will decline. This is usually apparent with longer run times of your furnace and/or air conditioner.  A less efficient furnace and/or air conditioner will run for much longer than a much newer model.
  4. Higher Utility Bills – With longer run times comes higher electric and gas bills. The longer your system runs the more energy you are consuming.  A newer more efficient unit is able to heat and cool your home in the most efficient manner possible, thus saving you money on your month bills.
  5. Poor Indoor Air Quality – If your home has an older system, you may see drastic spikes in humidity and increased dust in the home. Older systems and older duct work will cause your home to be dry during the winter and humid in the summer.  Newer systems are designed to control the humidity levels and make your home more comfortable.  Newer systems also come with high efficiency air filtering systems that can help reduce the amount of dust, dirt and allergens in the home.  Humidity levels and indoor air quality are things to monitor when trying to decide if you need to replace your system.
  6. Age of Unit – If your system is over 10 years old or you are unsure of the age, but it looks like a dinosaur…it may be time to replace. A trained professional should be able to give you the exact age of the equipment.  While some system will last for more than 10 years, this is the cutoff that most professionals use as the time to start considering replacement.

Avoid Your Back Against the Wall…Be Proactive When It Comes to Replacement

If while reading through the sign of replacement indicators you find yourself circling a few, don’t worry, you are being PROACTIVE!  That is the best thing to do.  You have identified that your system is getting older and while it is still working, you have time to educate yourself on your options for replacement.

Keep in mind, you are not simply purchasing new equipment.  You are really buying a company and their installation expertise.  A new furnace and air conditioner are only as good as the company that installs the system.

Many people think purchasing a new furnace and air conditioner is as easy as going down to a big box store and picking one out.  This could not be further from the truth!  While a furnace and air conditioner are pieces of mechanical equipment similar to a stove or refrigerator you might find at one of these home improvement stores, a furnace and/or air conditioner does NOT simply plug into the wall!  The removal and installation of a new HVAC system takes between 8-10 hours depending on the difficulty of the job.  If something takes this long to properly install, you might want to look into the company that you will be trusting to install your new investment!

If you would like step-by-step guide on how to select a company you can trust to replace your heating and cooling system, click below and we will rush out a copy of our FREE book.  We will even cover the shipping and handling.