• replacing an old HVAC system


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What You Need to Know About Replacing Your Old HVAC System

Have you ever noticed your heating system seems to quit when you need it most? Or that your AC doesn’t function properly on the hottest day of the year? If your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system didn’t pick a great time to break down, it can be stressful to start the replacement process. That’s why it’s good to know what to expect as you talk to HVAC contractors, get price estimates, and get ready to replace your old HVAC system.

Here’s what you need to know:


Systems and Prices Vary—a Lot

The size, efficiency, and brand of your HVAC system all factor into its price, and each can have a significant impact. Your budget and the needs of your home will help determine the best choice for your furnace, air conditioner, or multisystem.

Some HVAC companies will also charge different prices depending on the time of year, with higher prices during peak times, like during extreme heat or cold. This can be frustrating if your heat or air conditioning goes out when you really need it. And while you might be able to do without AC for a bit, heat is essential—for you and your water pipes. Even in a crunch, it’s a good idea to get estimates from a few providers before you select one. Ask if their prices change depending on the weather or demand. This may help you decide to wait until prices come down, if you can, or go with a company whose prices remain the same. Many companies also offer discounts if you get your air conditioner and furnace at the same time or add on items like a humidifier or thermostat. As you consider price estimates, make sure you match system-to-system.

New Systems Are More Efficient

Older HVAC systems didn’t use energy as efficiently as they do now. That’s why anything you buy today will probably be more efficient than your old system. But even new systems can vary and you’ll have choices based on how efficient you want to be and what you can afford. For example, if your old system was only ranked at 65 percent efficient, you might easily find a new gas furnace with improved efficiencies. Options could include 85, 90 and up to 97 percent efficient. Consider what you can afford to pay upfront and discuss the options with your HVAC technician. They should be able to tell you whether you’d earn back the extra money you’d spend on a more efficient unit over the life of the system through energy cost savings.

There May Be a Better Size Unit

Furnaces and air conditioners come in different sizes and what is in your home right now may not necessarily be the best option. Some people think a bigger unit is best to avoid any risk of having a unit that can’t heat or cool the house well. But the reality is that if your HVAC unit is too large, it will have to turn on and off more frequently, and that can make the parts and other components wear out sooner than they should. It can also cause inconsistencies in the temperature and waste energy. A reputable HVAC company should be able to give you an estimate for a properly sized system.

You May Need New Insulation or Duct Work

When an HVAC contractor comes to your house for an estimate, it’s a good idea to have them inspect the duct work as well, in case it needs updates or repairs. Areas around the furnace may also benefit from new insulation.

Your HVAC System Needs to be Accessible

Your furnace may be tucked in a basement room you use for storage, or maybe plants or yard items surround your air conditioning unit. Make sure you clear the space around any area the HVAC technicians will need to access to inspect or replace your system. Do this before they arrive for your estimate or work so that you can help them get their job done as quickly and easily as possible.


When you need a new HVAC system, you need an HVAC hero. Or maybe you’re cut out to be that hero. Charter College offers HVAC/R training that you can complete in as few as 10 months. Contact Charter College today to learn more.