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7 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System

Even with proper care and maintenance, every HVAC system will eventually need to be replaced. Old or damaged systems can lead to serious problems for homeowners including poor indoor air quality, increased energy bills, and decreased reliability during the winter and summer months.

If you are not sure whether or not you need to replace your HVAC system, here are some of the signs to look out for.

1. Your HVAC System Is Over a Decade Old

In general, you should replace your HVAC system every ten to fifteen years. Heating systems and air conditioners are designed to be durable and long-lasting. While minor components should be replaced more frequently, major components wearing down after a decade can lead to costly repairs that make replacing the entire unit a better use of your money. Sometimes replacing one major component now will only temporarily fix the issue and another major component might fail only months down the road.

Are you not sure how old your HVAC system is? Check the indoor and outdoor units to see if there is a manufacture date printed on the label. This date will tell you when the unit was created, so if the date is 10-12 years in the past, you should plan on replacing it soon.

2. Repairs Exceed 50% of the Cost of a New Unit

Once repairs will cost over half of the price of a new unit, it’s a good idea to replace your HVAC system. It is normal to need small repairs over the lifespan of a heating or cooling unit, but as major pieces start to fail you’ll find yourself spending a great deal to fix them.

Over time, you can wind up spending more on repairs than you would on a new unit. The money you pay for temporary fixes could get your HVAC system working, but there’s no guarantee that another critical and costly part won’t fail tomorrow.

3. Your Home Can’t Maintain a Comfortable Temperature

Old heating and cooling units often have trouble getting a home to a consistent temperature and keeping it there. This can have a variety of causes, including a broken thermostat component, clogged filters, motor damage, or duct damage.

HVAC professionals can troubleshoot the problem with your HVAC system and recommend repairs. Depending on the amount of repairs needed, it could be a more cost-effective route to replace your HVAC system. New systems are designed to heat homes efficiently and maintain the same comfortable temperature in every room.

4. Your Energy Bills Are Climbing

There will always be slight variations month to month in energy costs due to outdoor temperature changes and inclement weather. However, you should see comparable energy bills from year to year. If your bills are climbing year after year or suddenly spike, it’s a sign that your HVAC system might be losing its efficacy.

As systems age, the parts inside of them can require more energy to do the same amount of work that they were doing before. Over time, this problem can snowball and lead to more and higher energy consumption. Especially if you haven’t been getting routine maintenance on at least an annual basis, rising energy bills may mean it is time to replace your HVAC system.

5. Poor Air Quality

The air quality in our homes is critical to our health and safety, particularly if you are working from home and spend a lot of time there. An HVAC system goes beyond keeping you comfortable and also works to move air throughout your home.

A properly functioning HVAC system in good condition should improve your indoor air quality by filtering out dust and other debris. If your home has more dust than usual, you have odd smells coming out of your HVAC system, or you find that the air is not as fresh as it should be, it’s a sign you should call in the experts.

6. Freon Refrigerant

Older air conditioning systems might still need to be charged with R-22 refrigerant, which is also known as Freon. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the sale and import of any air conditioner and heat pump systems pre-charged with R-22 (source). Because R-22 is toxic to the environment, there have been increasing regulations around selling and producing it.

Today’s systems do not rely on Freon for the most part, and the supply is dwindling and very costly. Most modern refrigerants are priced around $15 per pound, but the cost of Freon including labor can be $80-100.

If your system still relies on Freon, a reputable HVAC company can help you weigh the benefits of replacing your HVAC system with something new.

7. Strange Noises

Another one of the big signs that you might need to replace your HVAC system is a furnace that makes strange noises. Whether you hear popping, banging, clanging, or rattling, something might be wrong. In many cases, older furnaces make strange noises like these near the end of their lifespans.

Additionally, your heating system and air conditioner should cycle on and off at regular intervals. The blower turning on and off frequently, or blowing out cold air could signify that there are age-related issues present.

Call Exxel Mechanical Services to Replace Your HVAC System

Exxel Mechanical Services is here to support all of our residential and commercial clients in Mount Airy and throughout Central Maryland and keep their HVAC systems in excellent condition. We can help if you need repairs or to replace your HVAC system. We are always available to help assess your system, provide you with a free quote, or come out to restore your heat or air conditioning in the event of an emergency.

To learn more or get a free quote, call us at 443-821-1040 or email us at We look forward to keeping your family comfortable.