There are several choices with heating and air conditioning, Cold Craft, Inc. chooses their equipment mainly from a select few manufacturers, for residential these include but are not limited to Bryant, ClimateMaster and Lennox.
These are all quality companies and they have blogs, news articles and educational help for consumers as well as technical training for contractors. For example Bryant has been very helpful in guiiding people to make the right choice when determining whether to repair or replace that furnace or AC. The information below is from thie website and it can help guide you to make the right decision.
Repair or Replace?
At Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems, we pride ourselves on reliable products and the great service of local Bryant® dealers. So when you're faced with the choice between replacing or repairing part or all of your heating and cooling system, you can count on your Bryant dealer to help you find a solution that's affordable, keeps your family comfortable and makes long-term sense.
Every situation is unique, and your Bryant dealer will give you expert advice based on an inspection of your existing system, identifying maintenance needs and costs, and discussing your individual heating, cooling and air quality priorities. In general, here are some issues to keep in mind when deciding whether to repair your current equipment or upgrade to a new system:
Cost and Convenience
Cost is an immediate consideration – the up-front price of repairs will likely be less than installing a new model. But consider the age of your current system and the relative cost of repairing it: If your existing equipment is more than ten years old and the cost of repairs is more than a third of what a new system would cost, it may make more sense to replace it. (And if the repair bill approaches 50% of the cost of a replacement, an upgrade may be a better choice.)
If repairs are less than a third of the replacement cost and your system is less than ten years old, it may have many productive years ahead. And even 25-year-old equipment can still keep your home comfortable with proper maintenance and attention.
Of course, an older system is more likely to require repair going forward, so factor in the potential costs and inconvenience of keeping up an aging system. (And check your warranty terms and expiration, too!)
Efficiency and Long-Term Savings
It's also important to look beyond the up-front price tag to the cost of the system over time. More energy efficient heating and cooling systems mean lower monthly utility bills, leading to savings you'll reap year after year for the life of the system.
You can understand the heating efficiency of a furnace by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which measures the percentage of energy that's actually used to heat your home. Most newer furnaces have an AFUE of 80% or more, and Bryant offers models up to 98.3%. If your current system is less than 80% efficient, you could save considerably on your monthly utilities with an upgrade.
For cooling with an air conditioner or heat pump, the measurement is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – a higher SEER rating means greater energy savings. 13 SEER is the minimum currently required, and Bryant has models up to 20.5. Upgrading to a higher SEER rating means energy savings over the life of the system. For heat pumps in heating mode, look for an Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of over 10 for greater efficiencies. Bryant offers heat pumps with HSPF of up to 13.
Installing a more efficient system may also qualify you for tax credits, if you're thinking about installing a geothermal system, or local utility rebates. And talk to your Bryant dealer for more information on Bryant Bonus or incentives he may have available in your area.
Indoor Air Quality
Your heating and cooling system can also play a role in maintaining good indoor air quality – your indoor environment is often more polluted than the outdoors, and the Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as a top environmental health concern.
You may want to consider adding a humidifier to make dry, winter air more comfortable to breathe, an air purifier unit to remove bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold from the indoor air, and a ventilator to ensure that fresh air is circulated into your home.
Your Bryant dealer can help you understand the indoor air quality implications of your heating and cooling system, and replacement or upgrade options that may help you breathe a little easier.
The Bottom Line
Your heating and cooling system is one of the most expensive components of your home, and one of the most important – your family's comfort depends on it. So the choice between replacing and repairing the system is a big one…and sometimes, if your furnace goes out in the dead of winter, or your air conditioning fails in the heat of August, the pressure to make the right decision is even more immediate.
It comes down to evaluating short-term costs versus long-term value, and making sure you understand the impact of energy savings over the life of the system while weighing concerns you may have over issues like air quality. But you have a reliable partner on your side. Your Bryant dealer will walk you through the pros and cons, and is committed to doing Whatever It Takes® to delivering the right solution for you and your family.