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Repair vs. Replacement: What Makes Sense for Your HVAC System?


Any time HVAC repair needs come up, it’s a good idea to weigh the options of repair and replacement. Is it worth continuing to invest in your existing HVAC system, or would it be better to invest in a new system rather than keep paying for repairs? There are a variety of factors that should be considered in this equation, and the ultimate decision is up to you. The best thing you can do is learn as much as possible about your options and the likely outcomes of each choice.

We’ll go over the indicators that repair is still a good investment and the signs that replacement is on the horizon. This way, you can make an informed choice about what is the best route to take in your specific situation.


While an electric furnace might keep working effectively for 20 years or so, a gas furnace shouldn’t be expected to last much more than 15 years. An AC unit might also make it that long, but it’s more likely to fail after ten years. A key point here is regular maintenance: if your system has been running without annual maintenance (once per year for your AC unit and once per year for your heating system) it is extremely unlikely to survive to these ages. In fact, lack of maintenance can cut HVAC life expectancy in half. 

Another age-related consideration is the refrigerant used in air conditioners. In 2010, the US stopped manufacturing new air conditioners that used freon, or R-22, in favor of a safer refrigerant called R-410A. In 2020, manufacture and import of R-22 were banned. If your AC unit was manufactured before 2010, it likely contains R-22, so any refrigerant leaks can no longer be patched and refilled. 

Frequency of Repairs

You shouldn’t have to deal with multiple HVAC system repairs each year. Frequent breakdowns like that are often an indicator of age, as the systems have accumulated a lot of wear and tear over the decades. However, another factor that dramatically increases the risk of frequent repair needs is improper installation. If your system has been having regular troubles since it was first installed, it may be improperly sized for your home, or issues may have occurred during installation that continue to plague it. It’s always critical to have a reliable team of trained, experienced professionals install your HVAC equipment. On the other hand, if you require HVAC repair in Broomall, PA once a year or even less often, replacement is probably unnecessary.

Cost of Repairs

While it may be perfectly reasonable to invest in a large repair of a fairly-new HVAC system, it might not be worth putting a thousand dollars into a system that is well past a decade old. However, if the repair it currently needs is small, and your technician indicates that it might keep your system running for another year or more, repair could be a sound investment. 

Where does your HVAC system stand? Is it 15 years old, rarely maintained, prone to frequent breakdowns, and in need of a costly repair? Then replacement is probably a good choice. But is it well under ten years old and diligently maintained, with only occasional repairs required? That’s a system that you can expect to keep you comfortable for years to come, so it’s well worth investing in. 

Reach out to Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. It’s always “Integrity Before Profit.”

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