HVAC repair or replace?

5 Replies

 We had one of our rental properties HVAC go out this weekend. Basically a fan motor froze up but the heat exchanger is also bad. An inspection of the other unit showed the same heat exchanger issue. Basically to get both heat exchangers replaced ( Labor cost only as the heat exchangers are still under the 20 year  manufacture warranty )and the broken unit up and running would be just under $2000 ($1887 to be exact) Both units are 16 years old. A reputable heating and air company has a special now to replace both units entirely including all heating and air components for just under $7500 (7352.57) we are holding onto the properties long term. 

Replace them.  You're saving ~5500 bucks by repairing it and you won't have to depreciate over 27.5.  Put the least amount of money into the units as you can while keeping them going.


$7500 seems a little on the high side (but not unreasonable) for two complete units (inside and out). We're looking at one at the moment, heat pump system, 2.5t, 14seer, for $3200. I know our relator recently had 2 systems replaced at his house for $6400. Also check with your local power company for any vouchers for upgrading new systems.

(Our $3200 quote heads to $2800 with a $400 rebate as it's a switch from gas to electric heat, but i know they've done other vouchers in the past).

Marko Rubel
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I would repair. They may last another 16 years.

The advice from my friends in the industry is that as long as it can be repaired there is no reason to replace. The furnace in my own home is 30 years old gas and I have over the years replaced many/most of the parts myself at a very affordable cost compared to replacement.

Furnaces keep going like the energiser bunny if you do the repairs. There are not very many working parts and most are not that expensive. The exchanger is one that will last a long time.

In addition a major part of replacement is the labour cost not the furnace itself. I have replaced several furnaces myself but don't tell anybody the trades say it is way beyond the scope of a layman.