Sooner or later, your heating, ventilation and air conditioner system will wear out. It may sputter its way to oblivion via a series of expensive repairs, or it might just suddenly give up the ghost one day after a decade or two of loyal service.
Before that happens, protect yourself by researching HVAC systems and getting references on the best HVAC contractors.
The Department of Energy has a fact sheet that will give you an unbiased look at issues to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your HVAC system and how to select a new system.
The government fact sheet examines costs and financing options, the best HVAC size for your building, and other issues.
How to decide
The Energy Department says HVAC systems may start to lose efficiency after 10 years, but that’s a ballpark figure. Many HVAC systems last 15 years or longer, especially if they have been properly maintained. Other systems, however, wear out sooner.
One immediate benefit of a new system: It will be much more technologically advanced than its predecessors, bringing energy efficiency, more options and worry-free operation.
One minus: The cost, although long-term financing is available because HVAC is a long-term investment.
This is a big issue: HVAC is among the most costly additions to your business or home.
The Department of Energy recommends that you call a trustworthy HVAC professional to walk you through the pros and cons.
You may be able to extend your current system’s life with smart maintenance.
But if you do decide to opt for a new system, the Department of Energy recommends you replace both indoor and outdoor units at the same time “for convenience, compatibility, and to meet efficiency standards.”
The agency recommends you take a long-term approach.
“You should also get a maintenance agreement to prolong the life of your HVAC and to increase the chance that when you come to replace the next one, parts of the old system might be usable.”
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