Repair or Replace? How to Decide

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Repair or Replace? How to Decide

At home inspections, we often encounter older equipment that is not functioning properly. We asked Douglas Mechanical Services to share their opinion on the “Repair or Replace” question.
The life expectancy of an HVAC system depends largely on your system maintenance. If you’ve serviced the system for many years, you’ll know when that “end of life” decision has come. Depending on the nature of the problem, repairs to your current equipment could be relatively cheap or very expensive. Although the effective life varies somewhat between makes and models and depends on ongoing maintenance, most HVAC systems are designed to last about

10-15 years before needing replacement. Thus, if your existing equipment is almost a decade old, having it fixed serves little purpose; it will just need to be replaced soon anyway.  As a rule, if the repairs will cost more than half as much as a new system, you should opt for replacement.

Of course, the up-front cost of fixing or replacing your current HVAC system is just one part of your decision. New equipment tends to use power or fuel more efficiently than older machines, and in time, those monthly utility savings can offset the cost of replacement. For instance, installing a new machine that projects to save you $25 monthly may cost $600 more than repairing your existing machine. The new device will offset that cost over the course of two years.

Here are resource links to check out when considering a replacement:

You can also call the following numbers for more information:

  • 800.842.1132– Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) & Contingency Heating Assistance Program (CHAP)
  • 800.388.9727– The Weatherization Residential Assistance Partnership (WRAP)
  • 860.357.4952– Douglas Mechanical Services


This article is courtesy of Douglas Mechanical Services & Construction located in Berlin, CT. For further information or to inquire about their services, please call: 860-357-4952