Unfortunately, every HVAC system will wear out eventually. A good system can last for 15 years or more, but replacing the equipment at your Sterling, Virginia, home could be more cost-effective than keeping it. If you have an older system or you notice unusual noises, high utility bills, or poor indoor air quality, it may be time for an HVAC replacement.
An Older HVAC System
Many older HVAC systems use R-22 or Freon refrigerant, which can contribute to ozone layer depletion. The federal government now requires new units to use a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly substance known as R-410A. Unfortunately, the new refrigerant won't work with devices designed for the older refrigerant. Even if your R-22 system is working well, maintaining it will become more expensive over time.
As wear and tear increases, breakdowns often become more common. If HVAC professionals are frequent visitors and unexpected repairs are ruining your budget, replacing your system immediately will be more economical in the long term than waiting for it to fail completely. It will be much more comfortable than enduring problems often, and you can take advantage of the warranty on a new system if needed. You'll also have plenty of time to consider your options during the warranty period.
Most HVAC systems make a clicking sound when they turn on or shut off. You could also hear air moving through your ductwork. Otherwise, your heating and cooling equipment should be fairly quiet. Loud banging or rattling sounds could indicate an issue with your HVAC system's fan, motor, or blower assembly. Rattling could also mean a loose component or part. You could have leaves, twigs, grass clippings, or other debris inside your compressor as well.
Squealing noises often mean that your system has a loose or damaged belt, and screeching or grinding sounds are usually from a lack of oil or another lubricant. Fortunately, these issues are inexpensive and easy to correct. You should have a professional look for the source of an unusual noise and repair it before the problem becomes more severe. If the sounds get louder, shut your HVAC system off to prevent additional damage. Otherwise, you could end up having to replace it altogether.
High Utility Bills
If your energy bills are increasing even though your home feels less comfortable, you may need a new heater or air conditioner. Warm areas and drafts are more common if you have an older HVAC system that's also connected to older ductwork. They waste energy by forcing people to use their heating and cooling systems more.
To reduce your energy costs, you may need to repair or replace some of your ducts along with your HVAC system. Efficient ductless systems are available as well. In some areas, tax credits can make the most energy-efficient technology more affordable.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Dirty ductwork, leaky ducts, or wear and tear can cause many HVAC systems to lose their ability to get rid of contaminants. Even if you change your system's air filters often, you could notice increased dirt, biological growth, pollen, pet dander, and other pollutants. These substances could also cause an unpleasant musty or rotting smell in your home.
Poor indoor air quality could lead to allergy symptoms, rashes, headaches, fatigue, eye irritation, sore throats, and many other health problems. It can even increase the dust on your floors and furniture, forcing you to spend more time dusting and vacuuming. A newer HVAC system with better airflow will be able to capture contaminants before they can impact your family's comfort levels, waste energy, or lead to an inconvenient breakdown.
Along with watching for signs that your home needs a new HVAC system, you should have your heater and air conditioner inspected by an expert at least once per year. That way, you can keep it working well for as long as possible. At Vernon Heating & Air Conditioning, we have more than 37 years of HVAC experience, and we have an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau. We can help you choose and install the best equipment for your home. For outstanding, friendly service from our knowledgeable technicians, call us today at 703-968-7700.