Should You Upgrade Your HVAC This Winter?

Mallory Hanig  |  November 1, 2023

Should You Upgrade Your HVAC This Winter?

As temperatures drop and heating bills rise, you may be wondering if now is the time to replace an aging, inefficient HVAC system. 

As winter approaches, the last thing you want is an unreliable or inefficient heating system. But taking on a major HVAC upgrade during cold weather may seem less than ideal. If your HVAC system is old or underperforming, is now the right time to replace it? 


How Long Do HVAC Systems Typically Last?

When investing in an HVAC system, most homeowners expect their unit to provide reliable temperature control for many years before needing replacement. 

While HVAC lifespans vary based on type, maintenance, and use, here are some general guidelines on longevity:

  • Gas furnaces: 20-30 years (longer with proper maintenance)
  • Boilers: 20-35 years
  • Air conditioners: 15-20 years
  • Heat pumps: 10-20 years

While HVAC systems are built to operate for years, performance and efficiency tend to decline after 10-15 years. At this point, monthly savings from upgrading to a newer system often outweigh repair costs on an aging system.


What Are the Benefits of Upgrading Now?

Despite the challenges, there are several potential benefits to upgrading your HVAC system before winter arrives.

Immediate Improvement in Heating Performance

If your current system struggles to keep your home warm, a new high-efficiency model will produce better heat. Your home will stay warm this winter while using less energy.

Avoid Unexpected Mid-Winter HVAC Failures

There’s nothing worse than your HVAC system kicking the bucket in the middle of winter. It means you go without heat and you’ll pay top dollar for a system that could take weeks to have installed. Upgrading now provides peace of mind that your system will function all winter and for years to come, and you have the time to source the right system for your home and budget.

Added Home Value

A new, efficient HVAC system can increase your home's value by 4-9%, while an old, failing system could deter buyers when it comes time for an inspection. According to the National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report, homeowners can expect to recoup around 85% of the cost of a new HVAC system when they sell their home. 

Lower Energy Costs

Upgrading an older, inefficient HVAC system to a new ENERGY STAR-certified model can reduce your home's heating and cooling costs by up to 30%, according to ENERGY STAR estimates. The monthly savings on your energy bills with a high-efficiency system can offset the upfront investment in just a few years.


Is Now the Right Time?

Replacing an HVAC system is a major project, and winter may not be the ideal season. But upgrading now rather than waiting until your current system fails can help you avoid bigger headaches this winter. Discuss costs, financing options, and installation concerns with local HVAC companies to determine if moving forward this winter is your best option.


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