Is It Time to Repair or Replace My HVAC System? How to Decide


HVAC systems can vary widely in their lifespans due to the conditions they are exposed to and how often they are operated. Generally, the more you use your HVAC system and the harder it has to work, the shorter its lifespan. 

It’s a good idea to contact a professional to inspect your system to determine if you need HVAC system replacement or HVAC system repair. In most cases, a repair will be much cheaper and quicker to complete than a full replacement. 

Read on for a full list of warning signs that can indicate to you when it’s time to repair or replace your HVAC system. 

Increased Energy Bills

The earliest warning sign that you should talk to a professional about your heating and air conditioning systems is when you notice an increase in your energy bills. This increase can be caused by a wide variety of issues – from something as simple as carpets covering your air vent to something as serious as a refrigerant leak. 

Either way, your HVAC system is not circulating air properly throughout your home. This places greater strain on your system and makes damage more likely.

Having a professional come in to inspect your system is a cost-effective decision to make. They will be able to tell you if you need to repair or replace your system, and doing so early can often be cheaper than paying higher energy bills month over month. 

Musty Smells From Your HVAC System

If you notice an earthy smell when your HVAC system comes on, you may have a mold problem. This can happen, especially in humid environments, as moisture condenses either in your HVAC system or ductwork.

You’ll have to have your air filter replaced, your ductwork cleaned, and the interiors of your HVAC units inspected and cleaned if necessary. Mold can pose a serious health hazard and aggravate respiratory conditions with long-term exposure. 

Banging Noises

Any sort of noisy operation beyond the regular sound of the fan can point to a damaged component within your HVAC system. As soon as you notice any irregular noise, you should turn your system off; running an HVAC system with a broken component can make the damage much worse and more expensive to fix.

In some cases, these sounds can come with a burning smell. This is the same problem, but slightly more serious. The burning smell is associated with excessive friction or the motor in your HVAC system burning out. 

In either case, getting a professional to look at your system is the best step forward. If your motor has burned out entirely, it may be cheaper to just replace the entire system. 

Don’t Delay in Installing a New HVAC System

The worst thing that can happen to you in the middle of the summer or winter is finding out your HVAC system isn’t working properly. If you’re unable to heat or cool your home, you can be uncomfortable and at risk of property damage in some cases. 

For more information about home repair and maintenance, check out the rest of our blog.