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How old does HVAC units have to be to change them?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

We get this questions almost every inspection. Obviously if the system is not working, its time to change it. On a serious note, 

Sometimes, however, the signs are not as clear. You may have to do a little troubleshooting as to why your HVAC system is on the fritz. There are many signs that show you when you furnace or air conditioning unit have come to the end of their useful lives. Just because your unit is still technically working doesn’t mean it’s doing your home any good. You may need a professional with technical expertise to assist you in this endeavor. Let’s go over some reasons why your HVAC unit is ready to be replaced for good.


Age is a major factor in determining if you should retire the unit. If your heat pump, air conditioner or furnace is more than 16 years old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient unit, when installed correctly by a certified professional, can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.

Low Efficiency

If your unit technically still works but you notice your repair bills and energy bills are going up, it may be time for replacement. Frequent repairs are a signal your unit is on its way out. Less efficiency when it comes to heating and cooling your home is another sign. You may start to notice some rooms in your home are heating and cooling at varying rates and comfort levels. This could also be caused by improper equipment operation, duct problems or inadequate insulation.


Is your furnace or AC making loud clanking noises or other strange noises while running or attempting to kick on? This could be due to an undersized duct system or issues with your cooling equipment’s indoor coil. When you call your HVAC professional for an inspection, he or she can determine where the noise is coming from and what the root cause is.

High Humidity in the Home

There are many reasons why the air in your home is too dry, no matter what the season, such as poor equipment operation, improper equipment size, or leaky ductwork. These problems will lead to air that’s too dry in winter and too humid in summer, resulting in indoor air quality problems. You may experience flare-ups in asthma and allergy symptoms, plus you may see your energy bill going up without explanation.

Too Much Dust

Ducts that have holes, gaps and tiny leaks in them will allow particles from attics, crawlspaces and basements to infiltrate the air. You may need to get your ducts sealed or consider a replacement or cleaning of your HVAC system if this is a recurring problem. A professional HVAC technician can help you properly diagnose this situation and provide a solution.

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