Thinking about a heating or air conditioning replacement? Even if your air conditioner isn’t broken or breaking, it may be time to start thinking about a new one. Take this quiz to see if you should look into an HVAC replacement. Add up your points to see if an air conditioning replacement might be in your near future.
How Old Is Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump?
You should consider replacing air conditioners or heat pumps that are over 10 years old, and furnaces and boilers that are over 15 years old. For reference, furnaces last an average of 15-20 years, heat pumps last about 16 years, and air conditioning units have a 10-15 year lifespan.
- Is your HVAC system less than 5 years old? Add 0 points to your score.
- If your HVAC system is 5 to 10 years old, add 3 points to your score.
- If your system is over 10 years old, add 5 points to your score.
- Unsure how old the system is? Use the age of your home to guess how old your HVAC is and score yourself accordingly.
What’s Your Energy Score?
Higher energy bills can be the a result of a less efficient system. An air conditioning replacement can bring those bills back down. You can calculate how efficient your home is at heating and cooling by using the EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick tool.
- If you have a Home Energy Score between 7 and 10, add 0 points to your score.
- If your score is between 4 and 6, add 3 points to your score.
- Did your home score less than 4? Add 5 points to your score.
Don’t feel like using the yardstick tool? Think about how your energy bills may have changed over the past few years.
- If you think your energy bills have stayed the same, add 0 points.
- If you think your energy bills have increased slightly, add 3 points.
- Have your energy bills skyrocketed? Add 5 points.
How Comfortable Is Your Home?
An air conditioner should keep your home at the appropriate temperature and humidity level. Are all the rooms in your house the right temperature with the right level of humidity? In other words, is the system doing what it’s supposed to do?
- If you rarely touch the thermostat, add 0 points to your score.
- Occasionally feel uncomfortable? Add 3 points to your score.
- If you make sure to wear layers because you never know how cold or warm a room will be, add 5 points.
Is Your Home Dusty?
Even the most fastidious housekeepers will be thwarted if air ducts are leaking. The leaks distribute dust around your house continuously, so it’s tougher to keep floors and furniture clean.
- If your home is spic and span, add 0 points.
- Do you find yourself dusting frequently? Add 3 points.
- If you have a feather duster in every room “just in case,” add 5 points.
Is It Noisy?
An HVAC system can be noisy in two ways. It might be noisy all the time, like a constant hum. Or it might suddenly start making noises that it never used to make. Either way, you might be looking for an air conditioning replacement.
- If your HVAC system is fairly quiet, add 0 points.
- If your HVAC system is somewhat noisy, but it seems consistent, then add 3 points.
- Do guests ask you what that constant noise is? Does it sound like you have gremlins in the walls? If so, add 5 points.
Is Your Thermostat Programmable?
Programmable thermostats can save you money. Don’t have one? You could be wasting energy heating or cooling your home when you’re sleeping or when nobody’s there.
- If you have a programmable thermostat set up, add 0 points.
- If you have a programmable thermostat but you haven’t set it up yet, what are you waiting for? Add 0 points, but read this article!
- If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, add 5 points to your score.
Add Them Up!
Ready to find out whether or not you might need to start shopping for an air conditioning replacement?
If you scored 0-11…
You’re doing well! A maintenance agreement with a licensed contractor will extend the life of your HVAC system even longer.
If you scored 12-24…
Uh-oh! You may be in need of an HVAC replacement in the not-so-distant future. Keep your eyes and ears out for warning signs that your system is beginning to fail.
If you scored 25-35…
Get Newcomb and Company on the phone, stat! Even if your system hasn’t stopped working (yet), you’re paying more each month because your system is old and/or inefficient. An air conditioning replacement now can forestall future headaches. Don’t wait until your A/C fails in the dead of summer. Be proactive and get a “check-up” today.