The Best Time of Year to Replace Your HVAC System

When should your replace an HVAC system like this one?

Sometimes, it's easy to know when you should get a new HVAC system.

If it's early August, your ancient AC won't turn on, and the HVAC technician says the problem is an expensive part or an R-22 refrigerant leak, it's probably time to replace your air conditioner.

To do otherwise would be like buying a new transmission for a 1996 Dodge Stratus. There's just no use in throwing money at something that's likely to break down again the next day.

But there are other times when the choice isn't so cut and dry — like when your old system still works, but you feel like it's about to start giving you problems.

Or when it already is causing problems.

Signs it's time to replace a working HVAC system

Before we discuss the best time of year to replace your HVAC system, let's consider why you might replace an air conditioner or furnace that still works:

  • The system is over 15 years old: This is the point at which many ACs and furnaces start having problems. Often, the problems are small things like a dead capacitor or control board that can easily be switched out. But small issues are often a harbinger of bigger things to come. If you've got a fifteen-year-old system with a bad compressor or a refrigerant leak, replacing it is a no-brainer.
  • You've already spent a lot of money on repairs and now there's another problem: This is the same point at which you would sell your old car as-is and get another one.
  • You're ready for a more efficient system: Compared to the HVAC system you bought during the Bush administration, today's options — even at the budget level — are significantly more efficient. In addition to variable speed and two-stage systems, you can get a new AC with a SEER of up to 25! More furnaces also have variable speed blowers and modulating gas valves.
  • The AC uses R-22 refrigerant and has a leak: Ever since the EPA ban on R-22, the old type of freon has gone up in price. Adding R-22 to an old AC is pretty expensive, especially when you consider that an old system is likely to leak again. It's usually more cost effective to just get a new AC that uses the future-proof R-410A refrigerant.
  • You already need to replace either the AC or the furnace for some reason: When your air conditioner and furnace are the same age, it's usually more cost-effective to replace both at the same time.

So, yes. There are times when you might want to replace a working furnace and/or AC. And if you've decided to do so, there is absolutely a best time of year to do so.

Actually, there are two.

You can replace your HVAC system during any season, but these two are the best.

Fall and spring. Those are the two best times of year to replace your HVAC system.

After that, any time other than what HVAC companies describe as "peak season" is a pretty good time. Here in Atlanta, the peak seasons for HVAC service are the hottest weeks of summer and the coldest weeks of winter. And of the two, summer is busier by far. That's just the way it is here in the sweltering South.

Why fall and spring? Here are a few reasons:

  • You may be without AC or heat for a few days. That might sound horrible. And in July or January, it is horrible! But in March or October, it's usually not a big deal to have your HVAC system replaced. Most people do just fine without AC or heat for a few days in the spring or fall.
  • Your HVAC company isn't very busy. At PV, we field the most service calls during peak summer and, to a lesser extent, peak winter. These are the times of year when ACs and furnaces are working the hardest. By the same token, it's when they tend to break down. If you want to replace your AC in the spring or fall, there's a good chance we can get you on the schedule right away.
  • Better pricing: Since there's less demand for HVAC system replacement in spring and fall, your HVAC contractor might even offer their own savings incentives.
  • Manufacturer promotions: Less demand for installations leads to some pretty compelling incentives from equipment manufacturers. Trane, for example, regularly offers special financing and rebate opportunities during the shoulder seasons.

Basically, there are lots of good reasons to replace an HVAC system in October instead of, say… August. The installation can usually happen on your schedule; you save money; and nobody has to suffer from extreme heat or cold during the process.

Aren't sure your AC is cut out for another summer? Worried your furnace might struggle through the winter?

At PV, we can analyze your HVAC system and let you know whether now is a good time to replace it.

If your AC and furnace still have life in them, we'll let you know.

In many cases, there aren't any apparent problems that need to be addressed before the AC is tasked with another summer of cooling or the furnace switches on for another winter. But other times, there are. We'll always engage you in a candid, fully transparent conversation about what is or isn't going on with your old HVAC system.

If you're ready to learn more or tell us about the HVAC situation at your Atlanta area home, call us or send us a message today!