Salt Air, Inc. helps clients decide when it’s best to repair that HVAC unit or have it replaced with a newer model.

One of the most common dilemmas many homeowners face is whether to repair or replace a malfunctioning HVAC unit. Since an HVAC’s average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years, anytime that a customer is having to make an out-of-warranty repair, it’s definitely worth weighing options regarding the cost of the repair versus cost of replacement.

Salt Air, Inc. owner Devin Skipper believes that if a system is currently not functioning properly or is inefficient, it makes sense to see how a possible replacement can save money from further repairs and reduced energy usage.

“When an air conditioning system gets to be above 15 years of age, the technology and efficiency of the new systems available on the market make it worth having the discussion about a planned replacement, before your old one ends up leaving you high and dry in the middle of the summer,” Skipper says.

To complicate matters further, recent changes in the common types of refrigerant used in residential and commercial HVAC systems have led to some confusion and misinformation. Starting in 2020, ozone-depleting R-22 Freon can no longer legally be manufactured or imported. However, older HVAC systems that run on this refrigerant still exist, and many are still working well to cool homes across America. The good news for customers with these older R-22 systems is that although the EPA banned the manufacturing of R-22, it does not mean that it is illegal to recharge an R-22–based refrigerant system.

“It just means that what we’re working with is stock that was already in the United States or reclaimed refrigerant that’s been sent to a processing facility, cleaned and repackaged,” Skipper says. “That means it may become cost prohibitive to make refrigerant-based repairs on R-22 systems as we move forward.”

Brooke and Devin Skipper, Owners of Salt Air Heating & Cooling

When a client’s R-22 system is not functioning properly or efficiently, Salt Air recommends they at least weigh their options between repair and replacement. Eventually, repairing an R-22 system will become so costly to where it no longer makes financial sense to do so. Homeowners will oftentimes see some energy savings by going to a new system over an old R22 system, making it a good idea to consider both options before continuing to repair an outdated piece of equipment.

In order to keep an HVAC system functioning properly, Skipper recommends that his clients consider a maintenance plan. According to him, the best way to extend the life of your current system is through proper preventative maintenance.

“Only 4% of a system’s life expectancy is attributed to the brand of equipment,” Skipper says. “However, 60% of failures are caused by a dirty or improperly maintained system.”

Regular HVAC maintenance enables homeowners to protect their investment and increase their system’s performance. Most importantly, maintenance plans can save clients money by lowering utility bills and eliminating the need for expensive repairs down the road.

Salt Air Heating and Cooling / 3119 Kitty Hawk Rd #1, Wilmington, NC 28405  / (910) 777-3539 / / Sponsored Content

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