When to Repair or Replace Your HVAC Unit?

We all know someone who can’t let go. They might hoard knick-knacks or always have work to do on their hot rod restoration. It’s a common human desire to hold on to things especially when it feels like we’ve already put an investment into it. As HVAC pros, believe it or not, we see this same impulse with HVAC units!

We want to boil things down to the facts, so you can make the correct decision for your home’s comfort and for your wallet. Here are the things you should consider when you ask the question, “should I repair or replace my HVAC unit?”


There have been a host of changes in HVAC technology over the years. While we’ve increased energy efficiency and power, we haven’t solved the problem of degradation and wear and tear. Furnaces, air conditioning, heat pumps, and mini-splits all will eventually fail and need to be replaced. At the end of the day, these machines have moving parts and will only last between 10 and 15 years. Once your system gets to about ten years old, you’ll need to start thinking about when to replace your system.

So does that mean that any repair when your unit is that old, should just be a replacement? Actually, the answer is no, not necessarily. Sometimes, if your heater or AC repair is cheap, it’s worth it to pay for it. Our rule of thumb is to multiply the cost of the repair by the age of your unit in years and compare that to the cost of a replacement.

High Repair Cost

Continuing along with our rule of thumb, sometimes the cost of repair is just too high. There are so many ways HVAC machines can be damaged. Part of preventing expensive repairs is maintaining your system well. Typically, homeowners catch HVAC problems pretty quickly and repairs run you a few hundred dollars. However, in some cases, a HVAC repair is needed to fix extensive damage, which can cause thousands of dollars. In these cases follow the rule of thumb even if your system is less than 10 years old.

Ultimately, the cost of a heater or AC replacement might just be the best and most economical choice for you in the long-term, especially when you factor in the improved performance of newer systems.


Speaking of performance, that is another reason why you may want to replace your HVAC unit. Furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners are much more energy efficient then they were in the past. They’re also more powerful! If you’re not happy with your HVAC unit, it might be time to replace it. This is especially common if you have recently added to your home in the form of a new room. This can leave you existing unit, unable to cope with the added demand. Ultimately, an HVAC unit can only do its job if it it properly sized.

Out-Dated Refrigerant

Before recent changes in government regulations, freon was the most common form of refrigerant used in the United States. This is the substance that is utilized to cool your home by dispersing heat from your AC unit. With the new changes, no new AC unit can use this old refrigerant. If you have a unit from before these regulations came into place, you may be relying on outdated refrigerant, which will increase in costs over the coming years!


One of the great parts about our job is that we can advise and give our expertise to our clients. At the end of the day, every home is different and every HVAC problem may require a different solution. We want to empower you to make the right decision for you and your family!

Anderson Plumbing Heating and Electric can help you with AC, furnace and heat pump repairs and maintenance. Give us a call at (334) 231-6980 or fill out an online contact form!