As a Minnesota homeowner, your home is a big investment. It’s a place you call home all year long which is why you want your house to be comfortable in the heat of summer and the freezing temperatures of winter. Your HVAC system can go a long way in ensuring that comfort, but when it begins to age you may start to notice higher energy bills and a decrease in your indoor air quality. So how do you know it’s time to replace your HVAC system? If you’ve been contemplating replacing your equipment, we’ve got the signs you should look for to know when the time is right.


The age of your system

Unfortunately, HVAC systems don’t last forever. At some point, you’ll need to replace your system to keep your family comfortable and breathing clean air. The Department of Energy recommends replacing your system every 10-15 years, as parts and components will start to fail or deteriorate after that time. If your HVAC system is over 10 years old (depending on how well you’ve maintained it), it may be time to start considering a replacement.


Rising repair costs

All HVAC systems will need repair from time to time.  As your system ages, you may notice a need for more frequent visits from your HVAC technician. After 10 + years of operating, you may need minor repairs each year – but when your major components need replacing (like your compressor or air handler), it may be a better investment to replace your system with a new and more efficient one.


Larger energy bills and when to replace your HVAC system

As your HVAC system ages, your efficiency tends to decline. In fact, you can expect a 5 – 10% decline in efficiency over time. This is especially true if you don’t perform yearly maintenance. One symptom of declining efficiency is rising energy costs. While seasonal costs can fluctuate, your energy bills should be similar from year to year. If you want to get an idea of how your system is performing, you can compare this month’s bill to your bill at this time last year. If there is a bigger increase, it may be time to replace. One last thought…replacing your current system with a high efficiency one can cut your energy costs by 20%.


Your indoor air temperature fluctuates

Aging HVAC systems will struggle to keep a consistent temperature in your home. This can arise from a variety of issues including: a damaged thermostat, low fluid levels, clogged filters, cracked ducts, and serious damage to your system’s motor. For those larger repair items, it may be a better idea to replace over repair – but to be sure, make an appointment for a trained HVAC professional to inspect it.


More dust bunnies

You read that right – more dust bunnies than usual could be a sign that your HVAC system is on the downward swing. Your HVAC system is responsible for providing proper ventilation. When working properly, it should improve your air quality by removing dust and keeping humidity under control. So if you notice more dust on your things and in the air, it may be a sign that your system is struggling.


Unusual smells and sounds

This may be a no-brainer but if you start noticing any unusual smells or sounds – it may be time to replace it. Unusual smells could result from dust burning off your system, and unusual sounds like grinding and squealing could become more prominent as your system ages. In either case, it’s a good idea to have your system inspected, so your HVAC professional can help you determine if the time is right to replace.


Poor air quality is a sign to replace your HVAC system

As already mentioned, it’s your HVAC system’s job to provide indoor air quality so you and your family can breathe better. Some signs that your air quality is poor include: mold, mildew, dust, and an unusual increase in humidity. If you notice any of these signs, it’s an indicator that your system is not ventilating properly.


These signs are some indicators that your HVAC system is not running as efficiently and properly – as it should. If you notice these signs and you’re on the fence about when to replace it, we’d love to help. Simply call our office and we’ll arrange for a certified technician to inspect your system and help you determine if replacing your system is the best option right now.