What’s the Best Time of Year to Replace HVAC Equipment?

There’s rarely a good time to be without functional, reliable HVAC equipment in your Vancouver, WA home. In addition to regulating your indoor temperature, your HVAC system also filters your indoor air and extracts excess humidity. From season to season, it plays an important role in maintaining clean, comfortable living conditions. If your heater, heat pump, or air conditioner is nearing the end of its lifespan, the following is everything you need to know about timing its replacement.

The Best Time for New HVAC Equipment Is Before You Actually Need It

Waiting until your heater, air conditioner, or heat pump has already failed before scheduling replacement puts you and other household members at risk of experiencing dangerous heating or cooling emergencies. During times of extreme temperatures, residents could experience problems like dehydration, frostnip, hypothermia, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. Given that most heaters and air conditioners have estimated lifespans of 15 to 20 years, it’s a good idea to start budgeting for replacement after 10 to 12 years of service.

Carefully Consider Your Options

Planning for replacement before HVAC equipment failure also gives homeowners more time to consider their options for new products. Suppose you choose to upgrade your natural gas heater to a dual-fuel, hybrid heating system or a high-efficiency model. In that case, you can prepare its new storage area and make other necessary building modifications. You can also compare efficiency ratings, search for the latest rebate offers, tax credits, and other incentives, and take other steps to optimize your savings and returns.

Choose the Right Installer

Scheduling hasty, last-minute replacements could leave you scrambling to find an available provider. Preparing in advance means being able to vet local contractors thoroughly, compare quotes, guarantees, and service terms, and explore product inventories.

Define the Scale of Your HVAC Upgrade or Replacement

Although some electric furnaces and heat pumps can last as long as three decades, most heaters and air conditioners have similar life expectancies. The HVAC air ducts that support central heating equipment often last about 15 to 20 years too. Just like heater and AC sizing is important for ensuring comfort, equipment longevity, and equipment efficiency, your HVAC air ducts must be streamlined to support any new appliance that you install.

For some homeowners, it’s easiest to have everything replaced at once. However, when budget constraints exist or when heaters, ducting, and ACs reach the end of their lifespans at different times, it’s often possible to make modest air duct refinements instead. Planning ahead will allow you to arrive at the perfect plan for ensuring both affordability and optimal functionality.

Build Your Budget and Secure Financing

When HVAC replacement is hurried and last-minute, many homeowners spend far more out of pocket than they have to. Your home warranty agreement could cover some or all of this project, or you may have access to outside financing. With more time at your disposal, you can shop around, apply for loans, and ensure that your new equipment is qualified for state or federal incentives.

Why Many HVAC Companies Recommend Replacing Heaters and ACs in Fall or Spring

Most HVAC companies recommend scheduling replacement services in spring or fall. During these seasons, the outside weather is moderate and relatively steady. Homeowners don’t have to run their heaters or air conditioners all of the time just to keep their living spaces habitable. Having your HVAC system out of commission for several hours or a full day while HVAC technicians are working won’t significantly impact building residents or present any serious health hazards.

Although fall and spring are also hailed as the best times for scheduling preventative HVAC maintenance, these seasons are rarely as busy for HVAC companies as winter and summer. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until the heating and cooling seasons are in full swing before having their equipment tuned up or taking care of essential replacements. Scheduling new installations when the outside temperature has already plummeted or soared could mean waiting longer for an appointment.

Why Spring May Be the Better Choice

For most homeowners, autumn and spring are equally ideal for scheduling HVAC replacement. However, if you intend to sell your home, spring might be the better option when it comes to HVAC maintenance. The most successful property listings usually hit the market in spring. You can ensure a swift and profitable sale by enhancing your timely market entrance with the addition of a new and more efficient heater or air conditioner.

New HVAC Equipment and Seasonal IAQ Challenges

If you or anyone else in your home suffers from seasonal allergies, replacing your old, HVAC equipment in fall or spring could lead to fewer symptoms. When outdoor mold, grass pollen, and tree pollen counts are at their highest, you’ll have the benefit of excellent air filtration, better airflow, and pristine equipment interiors. Timing your HVAC replacements just before allergy season starts can also benefit people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), terminal illnesses, and compromised immunity. Both aging adults and newborn babies can also benefit from cleaner, fresher indoor air during allergy season.

Signs That You’re Due for an HVAC Replacement

In addition to tracking the age of your HVAC equipment, it’s important to monitor your cumulative repair costs and your ongoing energy use. Most heaters, heat pumps, and air conditioners will experience the majority of their problems within the last two years of their service lives. Thus, if you’ve already paid a small fortune to keep any of these units running, you can expect to pay even more going forward. It’s best to schedule an HVAC replacement before the costs of fixing a heater or AC near the costs of getting a new one.

It’s estimated that many heaters and air conditioners lose almost half of their efficiency after just one decade of service. Although your current furnace or AC may have come with an impressive efficiency rating, it’s unlikely that it’s still performing as efficiently now. Take a look at your home energy bills from one, two, and three years ago. If you notice a steady rise in your heating and cooling costs that isn’t justified by household or building changes, it’s probably a good idea to schedule replacement now.

You should also consider getting new equipment if you hear loud sounds during operation, if you smell unpleasant odors, and if uneven heating and cooling aren’t improved by annual HVAC maintenance. While routine maintenance services can reverse much of the wear that furnaces and ACs sustain throughout the year, these efforts become less effective over time. New equipment will offer whisper-quiet operation, lower operational costs, and far more reliable performance overall.

At Revival Energy Group, we offer competitive prices and top-quality services year-round. Residents of Vancouver, WA can count on us for expert HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide oil-to-gas conversions, advanced indoor air quality improvements, air sealing, and ductwork upgrades. To schedule an appointment, get in touch with Revival Energy Group today!