I was dismayed to read ‘This Board is Closing’, since this is one of the few boards I follow now on TMF. Very happy to learn it was incorrect after all.
Our HVAC system (gas furnace, 12 SEER A/C) will be old enough to legally drink in less than 6 months (i.e., almost 21 years old). Total repairs over that time: zero (not including when rats ate through a wire, because that wasn’t the unit’s fault). Maintenance: Change the air filter regularly, clean the a/c coils every Spring.
We don’t use the a/c much (it may be on a dozen or two hours a year), so perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s lasted that long. We use the furnace a lot more, probably 100 hours or more each year.
Our local utility is offering big rebates to convert from a gas heater and a/c to a heat pump and air handler. Even with a 20 SEER a/c, I don’t see that changing our energy bill much (due to a lack of use, as mentioned above). But at current prices of gas & electricity, heating would cost about 50% less with an efficient heat pump. So we’d probably save perhaps $300? a year, combined.
As I see it, reasons to switch include:
- Factor in inflation, combined with the large rebates, and it will be significantly cheaper to change now rather than some unknown time in the future (as in, at least $5000, and likely much more as time goes on).
- An inverter heat pump with a variable speed air handler will be more comfortable (maintaining more even temps) than our current, one-stage gas furnace.
- Changing now may prevent being without a heater when it unexpectedly breaks and can’t be repaired or replaced for some unknown period of time. But …
Reasons not to switch include:
- New appliances just aren’t as reliable as old ones. Maybe a new unit is as likely to fail as our old one in not too many years.
- Replacing a working furnace and a/c seems very poor environmentally, and if they can keep working and working, just plain stupid.
Am I missing something? How likely is a major (>$1000) repair to be needed on a 20+ year old system that has been trouble-free up until now?