When to Replace an HVAC System: 4 Questions

When to Replace an HVAC System: 4 Questions

The best HVAC system is the one your customers don’t have to think about. If they’re comfortable, that means everything is working as intended. But if they’re too hot or too cold, or if their energy costs are higher than usual, they’ll come to you for answers.

Let’s walk through typical homeowner questions and how to guide them through buying and installing a new HVAC system.

Common HVAC System Questions

1. Why is my HVAC system underperforming?

It all comes down to comfort. We’re in the comfort business, and when your customers realize their system isn’t performing like it used to, it’s a good indicator of trouble.

More often than not, their system is older and not as efficient as it once was. Make sure your customers know that most HVAC systems last about 15 to 20 years. A system’s actual life span depends on the local climate, maintenance and upkeep, usage and more. But more often than not, if a customer is experiencing performance issues and the system is near that 15-year mark, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

2. Is there something I can do to fix the problem?

Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners have few options to address an underperforming HVAC system themselves. However, to cover all the bases, it can help to make sure they’ve checked a few things before they go any further in the process:

  • Make sure the system is on: This might seem like an obvious thing to check, but many technicians have been called out to fix systems that just needed to be turned on correctly.
  • Ensure settings are correct: If the system’s on, they need to confirm the current temperature settings are below room temperature. A simple check of the control panel can help them fix this.
  • Check the air filters: While thankfully an inexpensive piece of the puzzle, clogged filters block cold air from moving through the home and can damage the HVAC system’s compressor. Forgetting to change air filters consistently can be detrimental to their system. It’s always a good idea to educate your customers on the importance of regularly changing their air filters to help maintain their system.

3. Why can’t I just repair my current system?

Many customers will want you to complete the repair and move along. And while that may be possible in many cases, make sure they won’t be pouring money into a system that will be due for replacement in the near future anyway. Fixing their current system may be half the cost of a new installation, but as that older equipment continues to age, it will need more and more costly repairs to keep running.

In reality, homeowners experiencing serious issues with their HVAC system may be better served by spending their money on a system that has updated and efficient technology and is under warranty, guaranteeing they won’t pay for any repairs out of pocket should something go wrong during the coverage period.

4. My bills are outrageous, but won’t a new system cost me even more?

Extremely high energy bills may be another telltale sign that it’s time for a homeowner to consider upgrading their HVAC system. Older systems become less efficient over time, using more energy to achieve the desired output. But your customers want the best of both worlds: Improved comfort and reduced cost to operate the equipment.

Chances are good that when you mention purchasing a new system, their eyes will go straight to the price tag. New systems with the latest technology cost more upfront. But if you are recommending a unit with high-performance inverter technology, it’s important to help your customers understand the long-range cost benefits they will see over time as their system works more effectively and much more efficiently.

They’re likely to compare any system with what they have currently. This is a great time to show them how these new systems use energy only when it’s needed to meet their comfort needs. Remind them that newer models are also much quieter and more environmentally friendly.

As their trusted advisor in this area, you could refer them to third-party information that will help them better understand the technology, terminology and cost-effectiveness of newer systems. Providing reliable sources will not only help them see the situation from a different perspective but will also help build an increased level of trust and loyalty. Not sure where to start? Try this ENERGY STAR® guide to understanding when it’s time to replace heating and cooling systems.

HVAC Installer Resources

Your customers trust you with their family’s comfort at home, and that includes knowing a lot about the equipment you’re helping them with. Having a deep understanding of the systems you repair and install minimizes their discomfort and downtime while helping you earn more callbacks, positive reviews and revenue for your business.

At GE Appliances Air & Water, we offer specialized free training for our HVAC systems. Our training ranges from small mini-split and multi-split units to variable speed air source ducted units all the way up to our 36-ton VRF Commercial products.  

By taking advantage of this resource, you can reassure your customers that they are getting a qualified, factory-trained professional who will install the system correctly the first time and who will be able to provide superior customer service and support after the installation is complete. Not only does this add value to your business, but it increases the likelihood that they’ll refer others to you in the future.

Ready to recommend a new unit for your customers? Take a look at our line of GE Zoneline V10 air conditioning systems to see how they create a comfortable environment while keeping costs down.