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Repair vs. Replace

March 5th, 2021 | 3 min read

By admin

This concept is not as simple to answer as you might think. The decision to replace your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is not completely dependent on the cost of the repair. Several other factors influence this decision such as the age of the system, brand, maintenance history, and repair history. 

One might think if a system is relatively young, 10 years or younger, but has had a few repairs (hopefully under warranty), that it would be a good candidate for replacement. The answer to this could be maybe, but maybe not. 

Our highly skilled and trained A&E Heating and Air technicians will do a thorough diagnostic of the system and point out the critical repair with a quote of the cost of doing that repair. We will identify potential repairs to ensure your system runs longer without another breakdown. 

Considering systems usually fail when you need them the most (when it is very cold or hot here in Hood River), we may also recommend an appointment with one of our home comfort specialists. Our team would discuss replacing the system as a whole before you make a decision to move forward with those repairs. We do this so you, the customer, are as informed as possible before deciding one way or the other. 

In the end, the choice is yours to make. Our technician’s job is to bring our expertise to you and help you make the best possible decision for your situation. Unfortunately, one size never fits all.

Possible Repair Scenarios

Consider these three repair scenarios:

  1. Technician A arrives at your Oregon residence or place of business and finds a part that is bad. We estimate the repair without doing any future diagnostic of the system as a whole. You approve the repair, and the system fires up and runs. Your system runs great until your next failure years down the road (if you are lucky).
  2. Technician A arrives at your Oregon residence or place of business and finds a part that is bad. We estimate the repair without doing any future diagnostic of the system as a whole. You approve the repair, and the system fires up and runs. Your system runs for two years, two months, two weeks, or two hours, and then it fails again. You call back a little upset because we were just there. Our technician goes out and charges you another diagnostic fee, performs the repair, and we start the clock again. 
  3. Technician A arrives at your Oregon residence or place of business and does a thorough 20-point diagnostic, finding the bad part mentioned above as well as two other normal-wear parts original to the system that should be replaced. We might additionally find maintenance items that need to be addressed to ensure the system runs for as long and efficiently as possible. We could also note the system is 16 years old, has not been part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program, and has many parts original to the system or have been replaced long ago. We recommend you speak to one of our home comfort advisors before making the decision to repair your system. You immediately contact an advisor. 

We at A&E Heating and Air prefer to use the third scenario. This gives you, the customer, access to all the options to make the best-informed decision as possible. And this brings us back to why.

Things to Keep in Mind

Regardless of their condition, almost all systems can be made to operate. However, that does not mean they will operate for long or be efficient while they do run. 

Every repair you make on a system that has exceeded its life expectancy or is out of warranty is just delaying the inevitable—the system will one day need replacing. Maintenance programs and allowing your service technician to perform recommended repairs, not only the critical ones, go a long way. 

But if that has not happened, you are faced with the big decision of whether it is time to move forward with a replacement or not. Be sure to take into account that every year HVAC equipment and install materials increase in cost. The least expensive time to replace your system in now. 

And lastly, systems usually only go down when you need them the most—during extremely hot or cold temperatures. 

Reasons to Opt for Repair

When trying to make a decision, here are reasons to choose repair over replacement:

  • The system is still under manufacturer’s parts warranty.
  • You plan on selling your home in the near future.

Reasons to Opt for Replace

And here are reasons to choose replacement over repair:

  • The system is out of warranty, increasing the cost of the repair.
  • There is zero or unknown maintenance history (very common—90 percent of systems).
  • The system still has lots of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts original to the system. Meaning, the likelihood of failure after failure as these parts wear out and fail one by one is very high.
  • A major component has failed leaving the system unreasonable to repair.
  • The original system works, but parts of your Hood River home are too hot or cold or certain rooms are never comfortable. 
  • You are interested in home indoor air quality and want to make an upgrade centered around air delivery that maximizes your air quality potential. 

How to Pay for a New System

We have several great financing partners we use to ensure we can find a system that is affordable to everyone. Many times this is even more affordable than placing a sizable repair on a high-interest credit card. We have a link on our website for you to get prequalified before meeting with a home comfort advisor.  

Contact A&E Heating and Air Today

The path to repair versus replace is not always a straight line. It is more often several variables converging together leaving you with an ultimate decision, and it is our job at A&E Heating and Air to explain all the options before you make that final decision. Call us 541-645-8188 or request service online here in Hood River, OR, to talk with one of our knowledgeable team members so we can help.