Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do You Need a New Heating and Air Conditioning System?

When at home, your personal comfort is important. No matter the conditions outside or the season, you should be able to adjust your HVAC system where necessary so you can relax at the ideal temperature. However, not all situations are ideal - occasionally you'll hear knocks and pings from your heating and cooling units, and maybe nothing happens when you try to adjust the dials. Your first thought may be to replace your HVAC system altogether, but consider for a moment that repairs are all you need in order to feel cool or warm in your home again.

Do you need to replace your air conditioning or heating system? Here are some things to consider before you make a final decision.

1) How old is your unit? Whether you have had a home built or bought an existing one without making any major renovations, you should have a good idea of the age of your HVAC system. If you are experiencing problems after only five or seven years, you can estimate that problems are related to faults during manufacture or with the initial installation. A full replacement may not be required in this situation, but you may want to have an HVAC expert take a look to determine it.

2) Have you recently weathered any bad storms? If you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms, or high winds, the damage eventually shows up in your equipment. Leave your outside unit unprotected, and you risk problems in the future. If you find your heating or cooling isn't as quick to start after a bad storm, you will want to assess the damage before budgeting a new system.

3) Does it cut off abruptly, or not start up at all? The more frequently you encounter serious problems is perhaps your best indicator that you need a new unit. First, check to see if any warranties are attached to your current system and find out what you need to do to get a replacement. If you have considered a more energy efficient model for replacement, you may be eligible for tax credits. Talk to your HVAC serviceman for options.

When the air suddenly shuts off, it may not necessarily be a sign that you need a new system. Know your unit and listen carefully for problems, and you can determine for yourself the next steps to take. In some cases, only minor, inexpensive repairs may be needed to keep you comfortable.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC services and Williamsburg HVAC services.