Anyone who sells and installs HVAC equipment could make a case for you to upgrade your heating and cooling system, especially if it’s not a new, high-efficiency model.

Whether or not you change your system is up to you. Below you’ll find some helpful questions to think about, followed by our professional opinion as HVAC experts, in order to help you make your decision.

Pay attention to your seasonality comfort.

Does your cooling system struggle to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the summer? If so, that’s something to keep in mind when thinking about buying a new system. The same goes for winter. Are you cold or have the temperature up at an unusually high level to keep warm? We like to start here with our heating and cooling customers. Especially in NY, where some summer days can get hot, and winter can bring consecutive days close to freezing.

What is the age of your HVAC equipment?

It’s no secret that older furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps can cost you more when it comes to your energy bill. If you’re new to your home, perhaps schedule a heating maintenance service or cooling maintenance service where you can enlist the help of a technician to get the model numbers, manufacturing dates, and so on. It’s important to note that just because the system is old does not mean that parts can’t be replaced. For example, you might benefit from changing out the evaporator coil, depending on the unit’s shape and age. So there’s some investigative work, typically best for a trained HVAC technician to conclude.

How much are your utility bills during winter and summer?

A quick analysis of your utility bill can uncover a lot of information needed when considering whether to replace your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. It can also be of good use to look year over year and see if there is a trend. Many utility companies, such as Con Edison, who operate in our service area of Westchester County, offer level billing, which may be something you can look into.

How much will a new HVAC system cost?

Depending on the model, the prices will vary from unit to unit. Many times other equipment will need to be purchased. And then, you will need installation and removal of your old system. If you plan to file the work with your city, town, or village, there will be additional permit costs. Something else to be aware of is the NY State code, and in some cases, a city, town, or village may have adopted a “stretch code,” which means they require the efficiency of the units to be higher.

It’s always best to get the total cost, then add a small percentage, 5%-10% overage, just in case. Also, it’s always a good idea to check to see if there are any rebates or programs that you can opt into. We know that in 2023, you can claim up to $1,200.00 in tax credits (total) per year on a wide range of home-related projects on certain efficiency upgrades, including heat pumps. You should speak with your accountant or tax preparer about this for tax year 2023.