Exploring The Importance Of Air Conditioner Maintenance

Hello, my name is Darby Aldrich. I would like to talk to you about the importance of maintaining your air conditioning system. When I moved to a hot climate, I did not realize how vital having a running air conditioner was for living comfortably. When the unit just stopped working one day, the temperature inside the house rivaled the piping hot weather outdoors. We had to go to the community center to keep the kids from feeling sick. While we were gone, we had a local HVAC contractor fix the unit. She let us know that some simple maintenance tasks would prevent that situation in the future. I will use this site to closely explore those tasks in great detail. I hope you can use the information to keep your air conditioner running like new. Thanks.

Are You Better Off Replacing Or Repairing Your Furnace?


It's bound to happen at some point – you crank up the thermostat and the familiar sounds of your furnace coming to life never happen. At this point, you're probably thinking that a call to your furnace technician is in order. If you've been dealing with the same problems, time and again, or if your furnace has seen its best days many years ago, then chances are you're probably thinking about a replacement.

So should you stick to your guns and repair your furnace or cut your losses with a brand-new replacement? The following offers some helpful advice that can put you on the right track.

When You Should Replace Your Furnace

Replacing a furnace is never an easy decision, especially for those on a strict budget. For instance, the average cost to replace a gas furnace ranges from $400 for the least expensive wall unit to as much as $12,000 for a high-efficiency central gas furnace.

Here's how you can tell when it's time to spend the big bucks on a new furnace:

  • It's reached the end of its working life. The average furnace is designed to offer 15 to 20 years of reliable and dependable service. The longer it's in operation beyond that point, the more likely it will suffer a catastrophic and expensive failure or simply cost much more to repair than to replace.
  • The repair costs exceed the purchase price of a new furnace. This isn't hard to believe. Catastrophic failures often require replacement of major components using expensive and hard-to-find parts as well as time-consuming labor. If you find yourself spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year on your old furnace, then you may want to consider putting the money towards a new replacement.
  • Your energy costs increase with each passing year. Old furnaces aren't just expensive to repair – they're also surprisingly expensive to operate. This isn't surprising considering how older furnaces operate using methods and technologies that simply aren't as efficient as those used in modern furnaces. If you find your natural gas or oil costs increasing due to increased consumption, then it may be time to consider replacing your current furnace with a newer and more energy efficient model.
  • Its performance pales in comparison to today's offerings. What your home needed 15 or 20 years ago might not be what it needs now. If your heating system isn't able to stay with the times, then you'll need a replacement sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that today's offerings have variable-speed fans and burners, as well as energy-efficient condensing chambers that scavenge heat otherwise lost after combustion.

When You're Better Off Repairing It

Sometimes, you're better off holding on to what you currently have, especially if the following points apply:

  • The repair bill is significantly cheaper than a new replacement. Unless you're faced with frequent repairs, you're probably better off spending a little on a high-quality repair than to spend a lot on a furnace replacement.
  • It's still less than 10 years old. When it comes to repair versus replacement, relatively young furnaces can be let off the hook. In most cases, any problem with a relatively new furnace can be fixed quickly and affordably.
  • The repair issues are relatively minor. Dirty burners and clogged air filters are just two issues that could be solved with a thorough cleaning. Preventative maintenance can help keep other, more serious problems at bay, further lowering your furnace operating costs and reducing the need of a premature replacement before the end of its lifespan.

Before deciding on a replacement or repair, you should always have your current furnace carefully inspected by a trained and certified HVAC technician. Your technician can offer suggestions and advice that could either steer you clear of a money pit of a furnace or help you get the most out of your current furnace, depending on its state.

Click here for additional reading on furnace repair. 


1 April 2015