Technical Tip 1: When to update an aging HVAC System

Welcome to Goodin's new Tech Tip series, in which we'll tackle a common issue for HVAC and plumbing pros. It's intended to give you a refresher and an update about these common challenges, and also arm you with ways to talk about them to your customers.

In this first installment, we're tackling when to update an aging HVAC system. With all of the news about the IRA tax credits and people wondering about installing heat pumps, it seemed like a good time to dig into this common issue for our HVAC pros.

Warning signs to updateHVAC systems

Before your customers call you when their furnace goes out at 3 a.m. on a chilly December night, it pays to talk with them about upgrading their HVAC system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an HVAC system is 10 to 20 years. That number depends generally on how well your clients are maintaining their units. Here are some clues it's time to upgrade.

  • The system is more than 10-15 years old.
  • Maintenance has been spotty.
  • One room too cool, another too warm? The unit is working, but it can't keep the home at a consistent, comfortable temperature.
  • Things go bump in the night. Is the unit making noises?
  • Energy bills are higher than usual.
  • They've had you (or someone else) out to repair it more than once.
  • You determine it will cost more to repair than to upgrade or replace.

Benefits of updating HVAC systems

Upgrading to a higher-efficiency Energy Star HVAC system has many benefits for homeowners, but sometimes it's difficult to convince customers they really need that upgrade. Here are a list of benefits and talking points for you to use with your homeowners who are on the fence about upgrading.

Increased energy efficiency. Newer units deliver superior performance, period. They are held to a higher standard (read more about that in Your Guide to the 2023 M1 Change) and the technology is advancing to create better, more efficient heating and cooling.

Lower energy bills. All of that new efficiency means your customers will be paying less every month.

Other cost savings. The IRA Tax Rebates are kicking in, which means many customers qualify for deep discounts, even free-of-charge upgrades of their heat pumps. If there was ever a great time to make the change to new equipment, it's now. (Read more in New HVAC Tax Credits and Rebates.)

Find the equipment you need! Contact Goodin today!

Cons of not updating HVAC systems

You've likely been on the receiving end of those emergency calls, which always seem to happen on cold winter nights. Not only will the homeowner be ultra-inconvenienced by a furnace that gives up the ghost, but they'll pay more to have it limp along until it does.

What to know before updating HVAC aging systems  

When it's time to upgrade a homeowner's HVAC system, you'll essentially be retrofitting the unit to the home. Things to consider include:

Updated SEER ratings. Make sure the unit you choose is in compliance with the new SEER ratings, just out this year. 

Money-saving options. As we noted, those IRA tax rebates and financing are kicking in, which can mean substantial savings for your customers. Make sure you're up on the latest news.

Assess the existing infrastructure. Before you get to work, evaluate the current system, the ductwork (if they have ducts), the level of insulation and the layout.

Break out the Manuals J, S, T and D. We get it, these calculations can be frustrating for HVAC pros. But they are your guide for determining the right size and capacity of the HVAC units for the home, and necessary protocols you need to follow. We've complied a complete guide to this process, Calculations Guide to Manuals J, S, T and D.  It tells you in plain language what you need to know about this process. 

Recommend a maintenance schedule. Any installation should come with maintenance recommendations. Your homeowners should keep their new investment in top shape, so it will last for years to come.

If your customers need an HVAC upgrade, Goodin is your source of supply! Contact us to get started!

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