Should I Repair or Replace my HVAC System?

This question has been asked for nearly as long as air conditioning and furnaces have been around. Given the cost to repair my unit, am I better off replacing it?

Here are the tools to determine if you are better off repairing or replacing your A/C & Furnace.  This decision is largely based on the repair costs + the age & efficiency of your existing A/C.

The same can be said for GAS furnaces.  For ELECTRIC furnaces, tremendous heating costs savings can be achieved with a Heat Pump.

What Repair Is Needed And What Is The Charge?

Just because your air conditioner quits does not mean it must be replaced. Have it inspected by a licensed HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician to determine why it quit, and what it costs to repair it. The repair could be minor, and you won’t know until it’s inspected.  The average cost to repair a central A/C in DFW is $375.00. *

Regardless of its age, one minor repair does not justify replacing the entire system.  As the cost of the repair increases, however, the merit of replacing the system will too.  Also, you should take into consideration both the A/C’s age and SEER Efficiency Rating.

What has been the repair history in the past 5 years?  If the current repair is one of many, it’s pretty clear the A/C is nearly worn out. If it’s the first repair needed during the most recent 5 years, there is no evidence your existing A/C is worn out.

How Old Is Your Current A/C?   In DFW A/C units last up to about 15 years. If your air conditioner’s age is more than 15 years, it is nearly worn out.  If it has started needing frequent repairs, chances are it will simply stop working in the near future.  This is most likely to happen when temps are high and it’s running a lot. If it’s worn out, it makes no sense to repair it, if it can even be repaired.

How Efficient Is Your A/C? The efficiency of the A/C is determined by its age.  Given the amount of cooling needed during a DFW summer, it’s quite possible you can pay for the new A/C with the electricity savings of the new unit.

A new installation in DFW must have a minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 14.  SEER Chart

If your current A/C is a SEER 7 (built as late as 1991) — a SEER 14 will use 1/2 of the electricity.  At 10 cents per kWh, a new 14 SEER will save around -$550 per year.  Over 15 years, the savings = $8,250.  That’s more than you will pay for the new A/C.

* Home Advisor says the average charge to repair a central air conditioner in DFW is $365.

FOR GAS FURNACES:

If your existing furnace has white plastic vent pipes, it’s at least 92% efficient.

gas furnace 92% efficient

If it has a smaller diameter metal vent pipe, it’s 80% efficient

gas furnace 80% efficient

Note:  You can see smaller vent pipe going into the existing larger vent pipe in this older home.

If your furnace has a larger diameter metal vent pipe, it’s less than 80% efficient.  Note:  This could be 70% — It could be less than 60%, depending on the furnace’s age.

gas furnace less than 80% efficient

FOR ELECTRIC FURNACE:

If you have an electric furnace, your heating costs are Far Higher Than With An Electric Heat Pump.

  • Cost=$1.03  A High-Efficiency Gas Furnace producing 100,000 BTU of heat.
  • Cost=$1.18  A Standard-Efficiency (80%) Gas Furnace producing 100,000 BTU of heat.
  • Cost=$1.16 A High-Efficiency Heat Pump (HSPF=10) producing 100,000 BTU of heat.
  • Cost=$1.36 A Standard-Efficiency Heat Pump (HSPF – 8.3) producing 100,000 BTU of heat.
  • Cost=$2.36 An Electric Furnace producing 100,000 BTU of heat.

SUMMARY:

  • If you have natural gas service to your home, you would reduce heating costs by 60% with a new standard-efficiency (80%) gas furnace — as compared to your existing electric furnace.
  • If you do not have natural gas service, you would reduce heating costs by 50% or more with a new standard-efficiency Heat Pump (8.3 HSPF) — as compared to your existing electric furnace.
  • Note: The Heat Pump also replaces your existing Air Conditioner unit.

Old Central Air Conditioner.

Model XL800 is SEER 8

* SOURCE: Home Advisor http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/repair-an-ac-unit/

Al’s provides Full-Service HVAC System Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Services on all brands of Air Conditioners, Furnaces and Heat Pumps (including Trane and American Standard).  We perform every service needed to keep your heating and air conditioning system running at its best.

We sell and install American Standard, Coleman and Ameristar — Air Conditioner unit, Furnace and Heat Pump.

Our HVAC Technicians are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) Certified.  They are trained and experienced in providing maintenance and repair of your HVAC System + Installation of new HVAC systems.

Al’s offers Full-Service plumbing.  This includes; clogged toilet repair, water heater repair, water heater replacement for both tankless and tank water heaters, sewer line replacement (under slab or in lawn), trenchless sewer line replacement (in lawn only), slab leak repair, burst pipe repair, repiping, leak detection, water filtration system installation and sales, gas line repair, and gas line installation.

Contact Al’s today to discuss any problem you have with your Plumbing or HVAC System.  We offer appointments at your convenience & are also your Emergency Plumber resource, with 24/7 Emergency Service.  All our Plumbers are licensed and experienced in diagnosing and repairing your residential plumbing.

Contact Us

Call Al's For HVAC Repair or Replacement

If you need a/c or heating repair or a new system installation in the Dallas metro area, give us a call at 972-225-5257 or contact us online.
Contact Us

Why Choose Us?

  • Full-Service Plumbing & HVAC Company -- All Plumbing & HVAC Services
  • 24/7 Emergency Service & Same Day Appointments
  • Appointments Scheduled At Your Convenience
  • We’ll Call With Our Arrival Time
  • We Charge By The Job, Not By The Hour. Price Given Upfront
  • Never an Overtime Charge
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Financing Options with approved credit through Wells Fargo
  • Senior Citizen Discounts
  • Radio-Dispatched Licensed, Insured, Background & Drug-Screened Technicians
  • Uniformed Technicians Wearing Shoe-Covers to Protect Your Flooring
  • Service Trucks are Fully Stocked With Frequently Needed Repair Parts
  • Al's Pulls All Required Permits & Schedules the City Inspector
  • Al's Uses Top Rated Plumbing Brands such as Rheem Professional Grade Water Heaters
  • Al's Uses Original-Brand Replacement Parts versus "1 Size Fits All" Parts

DIY & Troubleshooting Videos