When To Replace an HVAC System

Published November 2013 by

An HVAC system can help your home maintain a cozy, comfortable temperature no matter what the seasons throw at you. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are the underbelly of your house, the duct systems, filters, furnace and cooling unit that your make your house a comfy home.

There are simple ways to tell when components of your HVAC system to need to be replaced.

Heating Components: Furnace & Boiler

Many homes are heated using furnaces or boilers, the former merely distributes heat through the home while the latter can also double as a water heater. Both systems have what are called ‘heat exchangers’ which are the core of their heating functions. If you see that exchangers are damaged in any way you should look into replacing your systems as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you spot any other sort of structural damage have your systems checked out immediately to see if you need them replaced. Furnaces are particularly vulnerable to rust damage if they are near sources of moisture, especially if they are tied to your central air conditioning system. One tell-tale sign of excessive damage is a strange smell, which indicates carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. Boilers on the other hand indicate extreme damage by leaking water.

Air Conditioning

The air conditioning aspect of your HVAC system is harder to gauge. Unlike furnaces or boilers, ACs require far more repairs due to the fact that it’s core system is often outside. Since they are exposed to the elements, and will likely suck things such as dirt and leaves into its system, they require more repairs. You should have someone conduct regular maintenance on the unit. However, if there is severe structural damage, it makes an excessive amount of noise or you need to have it repaired more than once a season you should look into replacing the unit.

Ducts & Vents

Upon inspections ducts are fairly easy to tell if they need to be replaced, you can see breaks, rust, or feel leaks, but that means you need to notice a problem to begin with. The most noticeable sign that your ducts and ventilation system aren’t working to capacity is a lack of uniform heating or air conditioning through your house. If you have zoned temperature control set two rooms to be identical and heat them for the same amount of time, try two to three hours, and check their status. If there is serious difference there may be issues with your ventilation system.

HVAC systems are an extremely important component of your home. These systems circulate fresh air through your house while simultaneously filtering out all the bits you don’t want like pollen and dust. Additionally, HVAC systems maintain a consistent moisture level, not too moist which would cause mold, but not too dry, which could dry out your skin or degrade wood furniture quicker. They are the key to heating and cooling your home and ensuring you and your family are always breathing the fresh California air. You should have your HVAC system inspected every few years and make sure to perform routine maintenance. Replacing the system is much easier on your terms rather than in an emergency.

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