How to know when you should replace your HVAC unit, ductwork

How to know when you should replace your HVAC unit, ductwork

Your HVAC system is responsible for heating and cooling your property, so it’s important to choose the right time of year to undertake any work on it. While urgent repairs can’t be postponed, planned upgrades or replacements can be scheduled to ensure minimal disruption.

If you’re deciding when to install a new HVAC system, think about the time of year when your heating and air conditioning are most used.

For example, when outside temperatures are scorching during the height of summer, you don’t want to be without an air conditioner. Similarly, if it’s snowing outside and temperatures are in the teens, you’ll certainly want your heating system to be fully functional.

Due to this, try to avoid replacing your HVAC system during the hottest summer months or the coldest winter months. While some HVAC replacements can be carried out quickly, most full-system replacements will take a few days to complete. Unless you’re prepared to put up with the hot or cold weather, most homeowners try to avoid having their HVAC systems replaced during these times.

Upgrade your heating unit during summer 

If you only need to replace the heating unit in your HVAC system, summer can be a good time to schedule this type of work. As you’re unlikely to be using your heating system during this time of year, you won’t notice any impact on the temperature of your home while the work is undertaken. However, many technicians are extremely busy during this time of year, which can mean you’ll face long waiting lists or increased costs.

Replace air conditioning unit in winter

In the same manner, if you only need to replace the air conditioner unit in your HVAC system, winter is the perfect time of year to do it.

During the colder months, you may only have your air conditioning on for minimal periods. If you’re unable to use the air conditioning for a day or two while the unit is replaced, it won’t affect your comfort if you choose to have the work carried out in the winter.

Do bear in mind, however, HVAC professionals will be busy repairing heating systems during the winter, so you’ll need to schedule replacements in advance if you want to have the work carried out during this time.

When to replace HVAC systems

Of course, if the entire HVAC system should need to be replaced, you’ll need to decide what time of year is best for you.

In general, replacing an HVAC system in spring or fall is the best choice for most homeowners. Known as the ‘off-season’, late September to mid-November and early-March to mid-May are generally viewed as the most appropriate times to have your HVAC systems replaced.

During these times, temperatures are relatively mild, which means you won’t have to deal with extremes of cold or heat while your system is being replaced.

When homeowners aren’t using their HVAC systems frequently due to the mild temperatures, there are fewer repair calls. As a result, you’ll find this the most cost-effective time to have your HVAC system replaced or upgraded is during the off-season.

How long does it take to replace an HVAC system?

When you’re having HVAC units or an entire system replaced, you’ll want to know how long the work is expected to take. There are numerous factors that can affect the duration of the project, including the size of the property and the type of unit.

However, replacing a heating or air conditioning unit with a like-for-like new model typically only takes a day or two.

If the ductwork in the property also needs to be replaced, this can increase the duration of the project to 3-5 days, due to the added work involved.

How often does an HVAC unit need to be replaced?

Many heating and cooling units will last for around 10-12 years, providing they are well-maintained during this time. With annual inspections and maintenance, you can increase the lifespan of your HVAC and maximize the return on your investment.

Signs and symptoms of when to repair or replace

Of course, HVAC systems don’t last forever, so it’s important to look for signs your system might be nearing the ending of its life. If it’s difficult to moderate the temperature in your home, despite all units seeming to work optimally, it could be an indication that a replacement is overdue. In the same manner, if your system requires frequent repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace your HVAC unit with a newer model.

In addition to this, HVAC systems can produce excess dust when they’re unable to operate efficiently or they may be noisier than usual. If you notice any changes in how your HVAC unit is working, then t’s well worth contacting a professional to determine whether a repair or replacement is required.

Additionally, if it’s difficult to maintain the humidity levels in your property or if you notice an increase in your energy bills, it could be a sign your system isn’t operating as it should and may need to be replaced.

Upgrading Your HVAC unit and ductwork

Although some property owners wait until their HVAC system is non-operational to replace it, you don’t have to wait until faults occur in order to replace HVAC units or ductwork.

If you plan to upgrade your system with better or more energy-efficient units, you may choose to have them replaced while the current system is still operational.

Alternatively, if you’ve had your current HVAC system installed for 8-10 years and you know it will need to be replaced relatively soon, upgrading now will give you peace of mind.

By obtaining expert advice and having your current system inspected, you can determine whether an HVAC repair, replacement, or upgrade is right for you. In addition, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the replacement options available and decide which HVAC units are best suited to your property.

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