A couple of things have broken on your furnace the last couple years now. Some people get itchy and start thinking, “How long can I wait before getting my HVAC system repaired?” An igniter went out two years ago. Last year the control board failed. Now my compressor has just gone bad. It can’t be repaired because the compressor is hermetically sealed and they can’t get into it to fix the broken widget. How many more things can go wrong with this system? This can honestly happen to systems that are anywhere from 8 years old to 30 or 40+.
How long can I wait for HVAC System Repair?
Most furnaces and AC’s last about 15 to 25 years. Fifteen without maintenance, and 20 or more with maintenance. If someone is coming out once or twice a year and pampering that machine, cleaning it, checking all the components, and trying to catch early warnings of failure, you’re going to very likely have a system that will keep you cool 20-25 years.
HVAC System Repair Experience
I bought my home when it was nine years old. The HVAC system is still going, but I have had to make some repairs on it. I have a York Diamond 80 from 1999. It came with the house in our nice neighborhood in a quaint sub-division near Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, CA. The hot surface igniter cracked and was replaced. At 14 years old, the AC’s compressor blew. I replaced that. But that’s it so far! The thing is, I know a guy! I can just go out to my truck and grab what I need to fix my AC and be ready to go in a matter of house. You have to pay real dollars for the parts and labor involved in making these repairs.
I haven’t had to replace my inducer motor, control board, blower motor, condenser fan motor, or heat exchanger. All parts that cost $500-$1000 or more. The pressure switches, safeties, transformer, relays, ignitors, capacitors, contactors, ducts, etc. are the smaller repairs you can encounter, too. These parts are usually in the 0 to $500 range. These are easier to pay off because they don’t come in the thousands.
Warranties and Rebates
Warranties on HVAC systems made before 2015 carried a five-year parts warranty, and a ten, twenty, or lifetime heat exchanger warranty. That meant any part that came on the system and broke within five years the owner would only have to pay labor to get the part replaced by a licensed HVAC tech. Nowadays warranties boast ten-year parts and twenty years or lifetime warranties on heat exchangers that are made with better materials than twenty years ago.
Incentives to buy a new HVAC system are there if you look for them. If you want to save money on the cost of a new HVAC system, ask if there are rebates available for upgrading your HVAC equipment now instead of later when these rebates and tax credits can be taken away by those fortunate enough to give them to us. In Sacramento, we can offer $400, $500 and $850 rebates through the SMUD Utility company if you were to put in an Energy Star rated AC systems like the Trane XL16i and a matching Trane coil and furnace.
Deciding What to Do on Your HVAC System
The ability to save more money when you are even running the system would be great. The furnaces today can be up to 97-98% efficient in fossil fuel usage. They usually come with two stages of heating too, so it uses a less power consuming mode most of the time it is operating. Same with the AC! They come with two stages and even fully variable systems that can dial in your comfort level.
It’s tough making that decision. It also doesn’t have to be an impulse buy either. Take time to think about it and find the right contractor who will pull all the necessary permits and do the work for you right the first time. The most important day of an HVAC system’s life is the day it was installed. Just make sure you do your homework and choose the right one for you, that you feel comfortable with. Check out our blog FAQs about Replacing HVAC Systems for more on this big purchase and the decisions that are made in the process of getting a new HVAC system installed.
HVAC System Conclusion
If you decide to make that repair, that’s fine. Some people are really into making the equipment that they have last as long as possible. If the parts are available for that equipment and you can safely make the repair without compromising the original factory specifications, then why not? Because it’s your money. You can either choose to keep putting your money into your current HVAC system or upgrade to the new standards of HVAC equipment sold today. The equipment just keeps getting better every few years. The manufacturers and their engineers out-do themselves every few years and come out with the next cool technology for the industry.
Good luck in making this decision! Let Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar come out to your house and have the discussion with you in person. We’d love to be part of your HVAC system’s life. Whether it’s doing the preventive maintenance on your aging system or installing and maintaining a new one for you.