As a home or business owner, there are questions you need to consider when contemplating the pros and cons of upgrading to a new HVAC system.
What is the age of your present system? The average lifespan is from 15 to 20 years.
Take a look at your equipment for rust, cracks, water stains, and other signs of damage or wear. Listen for strange sounds that could indicate internal problems. Make a list of questions, then have your system evaluated by Abel Heating and Cooling. There could be less visible signs of excessive wear and potential breakdown that only a professional will detect.
We recently posted a BLOG about Heat Exchangers and how a crack can spell the end for your equipment. Faulty electronics or valves can sometimes be repaired, but the question is, at what cost? Remember, for an older, less energy-efficient furnace, there is the high price of repair or part replacement.
A New HVAC System Saves Money
With Xcel Energy requesting MPUC (Minnesota Public Utilities Commission) for a three-year increase of 9.8 percent, or $297.1 million, this may be the right time for you to consider the savings you’ll receive by replacing your old HVAC system.
In response to the above, The Star Tribune wrote:
By 2018, a typical electric customer’s annual electric charges would be $132 higher if state regulators approve the increase.”
No specific reasons were stated for the increase, but consider the Star Tribune’s article of March 20, 2016 by David Shaffer:
Nuclear sticker shock – The high cost of upgrading 40-year-old nuclear reactors is confronting Xcel Energy again. Investments in the Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Red Wing, Minn., are projected to cost more than expected — $487 million by 2020, with more spending needed in the next decade.”
With spring upon us, adding a new HVAC system now is easier, and will pay off in air-conditioning energy savings. For example, just the savings alone between an A/C that operates on R22 refrigerant and a new system that uses R410a refrigerant is significant, plus it provides other benefits.
The Change From R22 to R410a Refrigerant
The Clean Air Act has been in the process of phasing out R22 refrigerant by the year 2020. As R22 becomes less available, the cost for you to use it in your older system goes up.
R410a is chlorine-free and used with newer, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, does not deplete the ozone layer. R410a offers better air quality, increased comfort and reliability and lower energy bills.
Speaking of savings, if your system is old, the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) number is probably about 70%. Upgrading to a newer 95% AFUE rated system can also pay off in less energy cost and also earn you a significant tax credit from the federal government. All saving you money during the future lifetime of your equipment.
New HVAC Equipment Rebates
In an effort to help defray the cost of new installations, and to encourage the transition from R22 refrigerant, Excel Energy and CenterPoint Energy offer rebates to their customers.
For example, a new, high-efficiency natural gas furnace with an ECM (Electronically Commutated fan Motor) offers savings for years to come. To learn about rebates, click on the link below. In some instances, Xcel rebates can be up to $500 and CenterPoint up to $400.
Commercial HVAC System Installation Rebates
Commercial customers can get substantial fixed rebates for purchasing qualifying energy-efficient equipment such as Anti-sweat heater controls, Chillers, DX units (rooftop, split systems and condensing units), zero-loss energy doors, and more.
Pre-approved and eligible projects can earn up to $400/kW saved. One example they give is:
…one hotel manager replaced an aging HVAC system with a new energy-efficient system. He cut cooling costs while keeping customers comfortable — and used Xcel Energy rebates to help him sell the idea of slightly more expensive high efficiency system to upper management.”
Tips on Buying a New HVAC System:
- Assess the age and condition of your present system.
- Have Abel give your home, business or church HVAC system a check-up.
- Consider the SEER (Seasonal Energy-efficiency Ratio). The higher the SEER, the less you will spend in operating costs.
- Get an extended parts and labor warranty on additional features such as a multi-state system or a whole house humidifier.
- Keep your new equipment in tip-top shape with the ABEL Performance Program.
- Discuss with Abel some of the rebates available from manufacturers.
- If possible, make a major change during a non-peak season to get better pricing and faster scheduling.
Abel Heating and Cooling has been evaluating, maintaining and installing new equipment for western Twin Cities residences, businesses and churches for generations.
Questions about your system? Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you make the best decisions. 952-472-COOL (2665) Contact Us