Who Says It Ain’t Broke?!

There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and plenty of homeowners are tempted to adopt this way of thinking when it comes to their heating and cooling systems. Warning: This can be a costly mistake. You see, the Money Down Toiletfirst qualifier you must ask is, “Who says it ain’t broke?”

Contrary to what might initially seem like commonsense, just because your old unit is still running does not mean it running correctly or efficiently. Often, heating and cooling units are left in service well beyond their “useful life”, costing the homeowner in all sorts of ways; comfort, efficiency, safety, or healthy air just to name a few. Air conditioning and heating systems are very similar to cars in this respect; very few of us would tolerate and/or rely on an old, broken-down, gas guzzler with 200,000-miles on it. Yet, that’s exactly what many do when it comes to their home comfort systems.

The real question is, “When is enough, enough?”

Option-1 is to consider the age of your system:

Energy Star recommends that you consider replacing your cooling system once it hits 10-years old, and your heating system at 15-years. ASHRAE, who basically writes the bible for the HVAC-industry, says the average “useful life” of a heating & cooling system is 15-years. When surveying Contracting Professionals, they state that residential systems last about 12-years, then it’s all downhill from there. Speaking to Homeowners, they share that their expectation is 8-10-years before their system should be upgraded to the latest technology available.

Option-2 is to consider the cost of your current or pending repairs:

Decades of experience has taught us that there’s a very precise point when homeowners start throwing good money after bad repairing heating & cooling systems, that should really be upgraded. It’s called the “Rule of 5000” (R5).

Simply stated, multiply your anticipated Repair Costs x Unit’s Age In Years to determine your R5 Result.

If your R5 Result is Greater Than $5000, it’s time to upgrade. 

If your R5 Result is Less Than $5000, repairs might make more sense.

There are very few things in your daily life that you count on as much as you do your heating and cooling system. It runs unnoticed, behind the scenes of your home, faithfully delivering heating or cooling for your family year-round. All the while, you routinely upgrade your phone, your computer, your car, and even your wardrobe, while your heating and cooling system inconspicuously labors away without as much as a second thought. Like all mechanical things, your heating and cooling system’s most efficient day was the day it was installed, and it has been steadily wearing out ever since, costing you more in energy costs and delivering you less in comfort over the years.

The moral of the story is, just because your old heating and cooling system is still running, doesn’t mean it’s not fundamentally “broken” from a comfort and efficiency standpoint. Often, the smartest move is to put your old, rusty system out of its misery, and upgrade to the comfort, efficiency, and safety your family deserves.


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