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Signs You Need to Replace Your HVAC System

by VitalStorm Content on December 1, 2017

Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning customers often ask: ‘When should I replace my HVAC system?’

After examining a system, this is usually an easy recommendation for a certified HVAC technician to make, but without knowing specifics, it can be hard to say. There’s no one answer that fits every situation. Whether an HVAC system needs repair or replacement ultimately depends on the individual setup, maintenance and repair history, as well as current and future HVAC needs.

With that in mind, there are plenty of warning signs that we often find among failing HVAC systems. In some cases, early recognition can save you from a costly replacement, so call your HVAC professional immediately if you notice any of the following signs that your HVAC is failing:

Poor Performance

This one sounds obvious, right? It’s probably the most overlooked symptom of a failing HVAC system, though. The reason an inefficient or underperforming unit often goes unnoticed is because the failure doesn’t typically happen overnight like we imagine. Instead, the unit’s performance diminishes slowly over weeks or months, making it more difficult to notice. To compensate for the decreased efficiency, the unit will run longer than normal, and you’ll notice your energy bills start to climb.

Strange Noises

Among the easiest signs to notice in a failing HVAC unit are noises. If you hear metallic noises such as scraping, grinding or clanking, call your HVAC professional as soon as possible. These noises usually come from the blower motor and fan, but can often be heard elsewhere in the home. If left unchecked, the blower motor or fan can cause serious damage to the housing or surrounding HVAC unit.

Not Starting or Stopping

If your unit seems to ignore the thermostat, either running nonstop or refusing to kick on, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician to address the issue. These issues are sometimes related to an electric relay switch, known as a contractor, within the HVAC system, but can have a number of causes. When a unit runs nonstop, it often triggers an emergency shutoff switch to prevent overheating. In other cases, the unit may freeze up as condensation forms blocks of ice on the condenser coil.

Frequent Repairs and Old Age

If you’ve had a series of costly HVAC repairs in recent years, or your unit is older than 15 years, it might be time to start shopping for a replacement. Initially, this may seem like a tough cost to incur, but consider the money you’ve spent (and would continue to spend) on repairs for an aging HVAC system. In addition to helping you avoid the cost of upkeep on an older unit, modern HVAC units are dramatically more efficient than those made 10 and 15 years ago. This means that once the new unit is up and running, you’re likely to enjoy noticeably lower energy bills than you had with your old clunker.

When in Doubt …

Although this is a far from an exhaustive list, you should call your HVAC professional immediately if you notice these issues with your HVAC system. If you’re considering whether it’s time to replace your HVAC system, but aren’t sure, have a Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning technician perform a routine check to assess your heating and cooling needs. You’ll be glad you did! Call us at 206-388-5667 to schedule a full assessment!