A: When a major repair is needed on your HVAC unit, the question immediately arises as to whether it is best to repair the old unit or to simply install a newer, more efficient one. The decision is not always easy, but it’s always some important to research all important factors and to keep them in mind as you consider the best option for your situation.

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A: You will need to add to the cost of the needed repair work the cost of ongoing high utility bills. You will also need to consider that older equipment will be more likely to break down and require yet further repairs in the future. This total cost must then be weighed against the price of a new machine.

If you opt to keep your old HVAC system, you should still consider obtaining regularly scheduled maintenance and take advantage of all opportunities available to maximize your current equipment’s potential. Poor HVAC unit performance can end up costing more than do the obvious equipment failures. In fact, inefficient HVAC units often up your HVAC energy use by 20 to 50 percent. Getting optimal performance out of your HVAC unit can be greatly assisted by regular tune ups and inspections.

A: Most commercial, roof-top HVAC units will give you 15 to 20 years of reliable service if properly maintained. If your unit is nearing the end of its expected life span and too many parts have deteriorated, it may be time to switch to a new unit.

On the other hand, it may be feasible to repair the compressor, for example, and keep your unit running well for years to come. If, after an initial inspection, you decide to keep your old unit, you can still get it back in its top working condition. However it is still advisable to explore the various updated products available for your system: like DCV with VFD and Digital Economizers.

A: Taking into account the month-on-month savings you would gain from a more efficient unit, the ongoing maintenance costs of an old unit, and the expected life span of your present HVAC unit requires access to detailed data. It is also important to find a reputable contractor who can carefully examine your HVAC system and put you in a position to make the best decision for your situation.

Getting an accurate estimate that will assist you with making the most informed decision and planning out your budget is crucial. Additionally, you should maximize your ability to take advantage of available rebates for installing new, high efficient HVAC models by selecting a qualified participating contractor.

Whether you opt to repair or replace, it is recommended that you keep complete records of your HVAC system expenses that will prove invaluable when in the future you are again faced with this type of decision.