Home emergencies are unpredictable, hence the word “emergency.”  Most common among those emergencies is the heating and air conditioning system breaking down.  We want to go over the most common causes of failure and some good ways to avoid facing an emergency.

Common Failures

Furnace failures are often times related to:

  • Dirty filters
  • Malfunctioning thermostats
  • A faulty ignition or pilot
  • Old age

Condenser failures are often times related to:

  • Leaks
  • Improper drainage
  • Electrical failure
  • Sensor failure

Some of these problems like “old age” can’t really be avoided because system failure is bound to happen when a system is 15-20 years old, however, HVAC systems will only make it to that age if they’re properly maintained.  Some of the issues can be repaired and don’t necessarily mean the whole system needs to be replaced.  But in circumstances like that, you want to consider the price of the repair, plus the likelihood of another repair being needed soon vs. the price of replacing the system.  For instance, the average pilot assembly repair can cost between $200-$300, then you might need to replace the blower motor, which can cost around $500, you’ve now just spent $700-$800 on an older system.  You could have taken that money and invested it in a new system and saved yourself a ton of money long term.

However, sometimes it is hard to gather up the money required to replace an entire system, so we’ll share a few tips on how to get yours to last a bit long.

Common Procedure

  • Maintain your system: maintaining your heating and cooling system will ensure the longest life.  Think about it, you get regular oil changes on your car, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your home appliances?  It not only extends the life of your equipment, but also improves the health of your home and lowers your utility bills.
    • It improves the health of your home because your equipment isn’t circulating dander, pollutants, debris, etc.
    • It lowers your utility bills because when it isn’t bogged down by dirtiness, it can run more efficiently
  • Consider a home warranty: having a home warranty cover the appliances in your home can ensure that if there is an emergency, they will cover the costs.
    • Depending on the company, there’s usually a certain amount of allowance, covered and uncovered, that can really help you keep the money in your wallet
  • Save, save, save: We don’t want to tell you what to do with your money, but it is a good idea to set a little bit aside from each paycheck in case of emergencies.  It may not be your HVAC system, it may be your car, or medical emergency, or flood, or what have you, but with some money set aside, you’ll be safe in those instances.
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