If your HVAC system has been giving you trouble, it may be difficult to know if the issue can be repaired, or if you’re looking at investing in a new system. Replacing your HVAC system is not to be taken lightly, as the unit alone can cost anywhere from $6,000-$8,500. If your ductwork also needs replacing, you could be looking at an increase in the service cost of about 10% to 15%, bringing the total cost of replacement up to about $9,000-$12,500.
HVAC installations may seem costly, but they are sometimes inevitable. There are many reasons your system may need to be replaced, but a few that you may not know about are dangerous gas leaks from your heater, a system that is more than 12 years old, and issues with your unit’s compressor or fan motor.
Dangerous Carbon Monoxide Leak
One important reason to get rid of your HVAC unit (specifically your gas-powered heater) is if it experiences a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that, in low doses over an extended period, can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and fainting.
In more severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. While uncommon, it is possible over time for your furnace to stop burning gas efficiently, which causes the carbon monoxide to enter your home’s air system.
Though carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, gas companies add a sulfur-like smell to it to alert you in case of a leak. If you suddenly smell something like rotten eggs in your home, open all the windows and doors, and leave your home immediately without flipping any switches or using any electronic devices. Once you are safely away from your home, call for help.
The System is Over 12 Years Old
While most HVAC systems can last anywhere from 10-15 years, they often begin to experience more issues around the 10-12 year mark. After 10 years, your system is more likely to break down, and you may start to notice issues such as:
- – Uneven temperatures across your home.
- – An increase in your monthly energy bill without any noticeable change in your energy usage.
- – Your unit requires frequent repairs, and the cost is adding up.
- – Humidity problems inside your house. This may indicate that it’s time to replace your duct system.
Compressor or Motor Failure
Another reason you may consider replacing your HVAC unit is if the compressor, or the blower motor, are not working as they should.
While both of these parts are replaceable, the parts and labor to do so can cost as much as a new unit.
Let’s take a look at what might cause your motor or compressor to break down.
Compressor burnout can be caused by:
- – Age
- – Poor maintenance over the years.
- – Refrigerant leaks (cause moisture to get into the refrigerant system and loss of lubricating oil).
- – Compressor short cycling.
- – Liquid slugging (liquid refrigerant gets into the compressor and causes irreparable damage).
Blower motor failure can be caused by:
- – Age
- – Failed bearings.
- – High amp draw.
- – An electrical failure in the windings.
- – Dirt and dust accumulation in the motor.