If you are like many homeowners, you are probably shocked by the cost of HVAC service and repair. You may even wonder if it is a good idea to hire professionals to work on HVAC equipment. There are some valid reasons for considering HVAC services. Your HVAC equipment can be expensive to replace, so it makes sense to have a professional look at it once every few years to make sure that everything is running properly. And if your furnace or air conditioning system needs to be repaired, it is better to get help from HVAC pros than it is to try to fix it yourself.
Most HVAC repairs start at around $85 for minor, routine repairs like a replacement thermostat, hot water heater or small capacitor change, usually accompanied by an annual cleaning, tune-up and recharge. For complex problems, such as furnace repair or replacement, mid-priced HVAC units are often sufficient for routine maintenance, but it is always wise to have a professional come out once in a while to check things over. Mid-priced HVAC units, generally, are not worth much more than brand-new furnaces, and you don’t want to put your furnace out of commission unnecessarily just because you didn’t take care of it. Even some mid-priced HVAC units will need to be serviced occasionally by a professional to keep them in good shape.
Before having anything major done, it is wise to have an HVAC technician perform a visual inspection of the HVAC system. This inspection will let the homeowner know exactly where there are problems, how serious they are, and what actions need to be taken to correct the problem. If problems are not immediately obvious, such as a leak in the ductwork, heating system, or furnace, the technician can perform an inspection of the entire HVAC system. This would be a more thorough inspection than simply checking the furnace or ducts. The HVAC technician will be able to determine if leaks are in pipes, insulation, or in the ductwork itself, which would allow the homeowner to easily remedy the situation.
When HVAC repairs are needed, most homeowners simply contact the manufacturer of the furnaces or air handlers to see if they can get replacement parts. Unfortunately, many people have no idea how much of an HVAC system is actually replaced in a year. In fact, some homeowners mistakenly think that just because they bought a new house, their HVAC system is completely obsolete and needs replacement. This is not always the case. Furnace and air handler units can last up to 25 years, even with regular maintenance. There is no way that the same HVAC system you just bought six months ago can function without problems.
If your existing HVAC unit is still functioning properly and it is still within the warranty period, then you can save money by simply replacing the heating or cooling system. Often, when there is a complete replacement, the homeowner finds that they spend less on their HVAC than they did on the original installation. Some companies also offer a reduction in energy bill cost by improving efficiency, including the cooling system.
In order to find out how much money you will save through HVAC repairs and replacements, you need to determine how many hours it takes you to run your HVAC. Most contractors ask for an estimate of round trip labor charges, which include the time it takes to unpack and load items into your storage room, and round trip driving to and from work. Because of the long commute, this figure may be quite high. You can then divide this number by the number of hours you spend running the HVAC each month, to determine your annual labor costs. If your annual labor costs are less than four dollars per hour, then you will be saving money through HVAC repairs and replacements each year.