Why You Might Want To Consider Upgrading Your HVAC System
Is your present HVAC system 10 years or older? Is it producing bizarre noises and requiring repeated repairs? If so, it might be time to seriously think about upgrading your out-of-date unit to a new, more energy-efficient system.
Often, homeowners decide to wait to upgrade their HVAC system in favor of saving money in the short term, even though it would be unquestionably more cost-effective to upgrade in the long run. Owning an older system in your home can swiftly go from a petty irritation to a serious problem. When out-of-date machinery ceases to function, even replacing parts can result in costing plenty.
Why so? Since HVAC technology has made countless improvements, repair parts for older systems can be tough, if not impossible, to locate. As a result, these out-of-date parts will be more costly, if available at all, and numerous purchases could add up to the cost of upgrading the HVAC system.
Upgrading your HVAC system will also extend far beyond merely saving money, however. It enhances fire safety, boosts energy efficiency, simplifies repair and maintenance, enriches air quality, and might even afford you tax credits.
Before you discover yourself gazing at a mountain of repair expenses as a result of an outdated HVAC system, take a look at the top reasons to upgrade your system now.
Before proceeding, however, let’s take a peek at what exactly makes up your HVAC system.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and is usually one of the things you don’t think about until you absolutely have to.
Your HVAC system is made up of several basic parts:
- Thermostat: The brain of your HVAC system.
- Air return: Circulating air is critical to the operation of an HVAC system. Air returns suck in air, pass it through the HVAC filter and into the main system.
- Blower: Moves air through the HVAC system.
- Heat Exchanger: When the thermostat calls for heat, it answers the call.
- Coils: Part of the cooling system, coils carry refrigerant that transfers heat.
- Compressor or Condensing Unit: Converts the refrigerant from gas to liquid and sends it to the coils.
- Ducts: Move the cold and warm air all through the house.
- Air filter: Boosts the HVAC’s energy efficiency and cleans the air as it runs through the system.
- Outdoor Unit: Houses the compressor/condensing unit, connected to the indoor unit via refrigeration lines.
That said, let’s now talk about the top reasons for considering an upgrade to your present HVAC system.
SAVES YOU MONEY
Will a new, efficient HVAC system save your money? You can bet on it!
Possibly one of the most talked about paybacks of upgrading your HVAC system is the energy savings. Did you know that your home’s heating and cooling systems make up the bulk of energy use, which is why forming smart decisions about your home’s comfort system can make a difference in your utility costs and comfort level?
Put quite simply, older, overtaxed HVAC systems cost more to function, meaning the energy you save with a high-efficiency system is pretty healthy for your wallet. Today’s HVAC systems boast an efficiency rating of up to 99 percent, which basically converts every last bit of energy they use into heating and cooling the home.
Fact is, the latest HVAC models commonly deliver up to 50 percent more efficient than their counterparts from a mere 10 years ago!
BOOSTS YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
As environmental worries continue to intensify, going green is a principal concern for many homeowners. After all, everyone must do their part to lessen their carbon footprint.
Always bear in mind that an efficient HVAC system is critical for the environment. Some of the higher efficiency systems available use one-third less fuel when compared with older models, which means less waste and better conservation of natural resources.
Freon is difficult to replenish
Another issue is that older air conditioners used Freon (R-22) and other refrigerants that the EPA barred in 2015. These products were eventually phased out entirely in 2020 as the EPA judged them to be harmful to the environment by causing ozone depletion. So, it’s turning out to be ever more challenging for homeowners with older systems to have their units repaired in the event they require Freon for some reason.
That said, not all brands and models are created equal. You’ll want to choose an HVAC system that meets ENERGY STAR® certification standards, since those models can be as much as 15 percent more efficient than a standard unit.
Today’s high-efficiency systems feature variable speed motors that make sure airflow is at the ideal level throughout your home. Variable speed motors boost the static pressures in your ducts, delivering more air at each register.
Along with improved airflow, variable speed motors also operate at super energy-efficient levels, allowing you to run your fan year-round, filtering the air continually minus a huge jump in energy bills. Better airflow leads to more comfortable temperatures in every room while helping keep the air healthier as well.
IMPROVES AIR QUALITY
Gas furnaces turn out to be less efficient as they age. The air intake valve may become clogged, soot and other pollutants can accumulate in the combustion chamber, and the blower motor may not move hot or cool air as efficiently as it once did. These inefficiencies combine to produce a less consistent mix of fuel and air in the combustion chamber.
Incomplete combustion leads to more toxic gases in the chamber, causing the furnace to run longer and consume more fuel. Gases might escape the furnace through other, more hazardous routes if the flue pipe is clogged. If the heat exchanger is damaged, it might allow dangerous carbon monoxide and other contaminants to spread through the house.
Swapping out the HVAC system lowers the concentration of these toxic gases that the furnace generates through combustion. Plus, replacing the heat exchanger and ductwork will increase airflow and make it more likely that any potentially toxic gases safely leave the house.
Look for a reduction in contaminants
The air conditioning system can also be a source of contaminants that degrade air quality. From dust, pollen, and dander to mold and germs to odors and chemical vapors, indoor air carries all sorts of unwelcome, health-affecting pollutants.
Fortunately, today’s systems can be teamed up with state-of-the-art filtration and powerful air purification technology. Not only do they get rid of allergens and a large part of virus-sized particles, they’ll tackle major types of indoor pollutants — great news for those with allergies or who simply care about breathing cleaner air.
REDUCES SAFETY RISKS
The upgrade in air quality also cuts the threat of respiratory problems and poisoning due to contaminants in the air spreading by way of your HVAC system. Just as importantly, more efficient burning in a new combustion chamber reduces the risk of fire and explosions.
Speaking of safety. Here’s an important tip.
Did you know that of the numerous home fires in a typical year, a high percentage result from old, damaged, or otherwise faulty wiring, and the wiring within your HVAC system is no exception? That’s why you should have a technician check the wires leading to the HVAC’s system location, which could save you thousands of dollars in both physical and emotional loss, should the worst come to pass.
INCREASES FUEL EFFICIENCY
As houses age, they become drafty in the winter and stuffy in the summer. You might find yourself consuming more fuel and electricity to keep the air at a pleasant temperature. Your HVAC system is most likely adding to this problem as heating and cooling activities become less efficient, and the ductwork and filters become clogged.
At a particular point, the faults and inefficiencies in your HVAC system will grow to the point where replacing it is the one surefire way to correct the flaws. In addition, a new system will eliminate age-related heating and A/C issues, allowing you to take advantage of more efficient HVAC designs.
Be sure to choose an energy-efficient SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours.
Like miles per gallon in a car, the higher the SEER rating, the more comfort you’ll get from every energy dollar. A good SEER rating is typically 14 or higher.
One other feature of today’s leading-edge HVAC systems is an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). In winter, the cold, dry air that wants to get into your home can be warmed and humidified through an ERV by some indoor air you would want to exhaust. In summer, the hot, humid outdoor air can be passed through an ERV, where the air-conditioned air that has been in your home can cool it down and take some of the edges off its mugginess.
ALLOWS YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SMART CONTROLS
Today’s latest, high-efficiency HVAC systems can come available with smart thermostats, which can be controlled via an app on a smartphone or tablet. This offers you the ability to program “away from home” modes, fine-tune and maintain temperatures, assure pleasant humidity levels, enhance comfort through your home’s zones, and more.
Smart thermostats can also monitor sensors in your equipment to identify, diagnose and troubleshoot issues and remind you to schedule routine maintenance. This can minimize unexpected breakdowns and identify small issues before they become bigger ones.
PRODUCES A WHISPER QUIET SYSTEM
Older HVAC systems begin to shake, rattle and roll each time they begin to cycle as a result of temperature changes that slowly but surely warp metal components and cause the combustion process to become less efficient. Conversely, today’s modern equipment has sound-absorbing materials in place to help assure your equipment is felt, not heard.
INCREASES YOUR HOME’S VALUE
We often receive the inquiry, “Does a new HVAC system add value to my home?” Although there are certainly a few issues to take into account, the answer is yes, by and large, it does.
If a prospective buyer arrives at your home, they might not take note of a shiny new HVAC unit. But they’ll likely note the absence of one or be put off by seeing an older, nearly obsolete unit that will soon need major repair or replacement.
MAY OFFER EXTENDED WARRANTIES
If your system is outdated, it may no longer include a warranty. When it breaks down, the total cost to fix it falls on you, the homeowner.
A new HVAC system usually comes with an extended warranty, providing years of coverage to pay for servicing or repairs, giving you peace of mind realizing you won’t have large, unforeseen expenses.
HOW SCHULTHEIS BROTHERS CAN HELP OUT
If you’re anxious about your current HVAC system and need professional advice, a Schultheis HVAC consultant can perform a full inspection of your system and provide options.
If you know it’s time for an HVAC upgrade or a total replacement, give us a call. We offer a number of flexible financing plans, and we’ll walk you through how to pay for your new system.
One more thing.
Avoid extra costs and repairs by scheduling a tune-up for your existing system before issues arise. Our maintenance plans keep your system running like clockwork without hassle. No matter what you need, we’re always just a phone call away.