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Is It Time to Replace or Repair My HVAC System in Big Bear, CA?

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


HVAC systems are those house fittings that you don’t have to bother with for decades, or so many people believe. Your heating and cooling systems are made to last for a long period, but you have to help them last that long. You have to engage in regular maintenance and occasional repairs to keep your HVAC system in good shape while you use it.

However, a time will come when the system may start demanding more than it usually does. You may realize that you now spend more on repairs, and they are becoming frequent. You may also notice many other signs, many of which we will discuss in this post.

When this starts happening, you need to decide whether you require a furnace service in Big Bear or whether you simply need to replace your HVAC system. We will help you make that decision in this post. Let’s get to it!

Faulty Heating System: Need Big Bear Furnace Service or Need to Replace Unit?

Let’s start with the heating system. When your heater develops a fault, especially during winter, you are faced with the urgency of fixing it as soon as possible. However, this may not be the right course of action. Getting a Big Bear furnace service might not be the help you need, as your unit may have very little value left.

Therefore, to make the right decision, here is a checklist for you to determine whether it is wise to spend $1000 on a repair.

Is it Safe?

The well-being of your heating system is integral to your family’s overall safety. For example, you don’t want to be exposed to the cold that will follow if your heater suddenly stops working correctly in the middle of winter. It can lead to health hazards such as hypothermia and allergies. Worse, if your heater’s ineffectiveness comes from major faults like a cracked heat exchanger on your furnace, it could lead to deadlier consequences.

These consequences include the faulty part leaking a poisonous carbon monoxide into the air circulating in your home. This is just one of the likely safety hazards posed by a defective heating system. So, when you’re faced with the repair or replace dilemma, consult furnace service experts in Big Bear to provide you with a relevant solution.

How Old is the Unit?

Another factor you should include in your checklist is the age of your heating system. The average lifespan of a heater is around 20 years. However, this does not mean that your unit will last 20 years on the dot, but it is an estimated lifespan. Thus, before you pay a thousand dollars or above to repair a 15-year-old heater, consider the cost of replacing it.

Replacing a unit may seem costlier at first, but it is an investment that you will appreciate both in the short and long term.

Does it Still Heat Effectively?

Another question you have to answer while determining whether it is time to replace or repair your HVAC system is whether the heater still works properly. If the temperature in your home is not uniform, some rooms are cold while others are warm, you may want to consider how fit your HVAC unit is for your home. Your unit may be too small or too big.

In the case of the former, your unit will have to work extra hard to reach the desired temperature in your home. This has many consequences, including an exponential increase in your energy bills. On the other hand, if the unit is too large for your home, it will achieve desired temperatures quickly and shut off. This will affect the temperature and air quality in your home over time.

If the size of your HVAC unit is wrong for your home size, you should consult qualified HVAC experts for great furnace service in Big Bear.

Faulty Cooling System: To Repair or to Replace in Big Bear, CA?

The cooling system in your HVAC is just as important as the heating system. Everyone dreads sweating through summer, especially if you live in a region like Big Bear. However, the humidity can get unbearable, and that’s not even all. Governments now have regulations that affect your cooling system choice, including for central air conditioners. Let’s look through some factors to consider:

Age of Unit

Again, you have to start by considering how old your unit is. If your air conditioner is ten years or older, it is closer to the end of its lifespan than you may want to admit. Rather than repair a part today, only for another part to become faulty tomorrow, you should consult your technician on whether it will be better to replace the entire unit.

Use of Freon

Another thing about old air conditioners is the type of materials they use. Most old ACs have R-22 refrigerant, which is harmful to the environment. Due to its toxicity, governments have established regulations regarding its use and are gradually phasing it out of use. As a result of this scarcity, the refrigerant is now costly and not worth the stress of using it.

When you ask your technician whether it is time to replace or repair your HVAC system, they will tell you the pros and cons of switching to the newer units. These units are manufactured with R410A refrigerant, which is more environment-friendly and cheaper. Therefore, if your cooling system needs more refrigerant, replacing the unit may be better than repairing it.

Breakdown frequency

The older your cooling system, the more likely it will break down. It may require just minor repairs at first, but more essential parts will start to develop faults over the years, leading to costly repairs. Before you engage in such repairs, consider whether it is worth replacing the unit. The deal is that the more you repair the unit, the more you wear it down.

Next time you invite a technician over to check why your home is not cool enough despite the air conditioner working tirelessly, ask them if it is time to replace the unit or a repair will be fine. Remember that a good air conditioner is an investment you will appreciate for years to come.

Repair Costs

The repair cost should guide you in whether to repair or replace your HVAC system. For example, if you will spend thousands of dollars to make significant repairs on an old air conditioner, you should ask your technician if it would be better to replace the unit. In most cases, a unit that is only a few years old will not require any significant repair to put a dent in your pocket.

However, older units cost more to repair, which is more frequent. If you calculate the cost of calling the technician over every other month to fix one thing or the other, you may find the impact on your finances. Ideally, if the repair cost is more than half of what it costs to get a new unit, it is time to replace and not repair your HVAC system.

Signs You Need to Replace Your HVAC System in Big Bear, CA

We have examined factors that notify you when it’s time to replace or repair your HVAC system, both for the heating and cooling units. However, despite the differences in the purposes of these two units, their functions are intertwined. They both work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.

In this section, we will look at some signs that tell you it is time to replace your HVAC system. Here are some of them:

Dust Accumulating in Your Home

If you notice dust accumulating in your home, you should not just chalk it up to the weather. Part of your HVAC’s function is to keep your home properly ventilated. To do this, the AC gets rid of dust, dirt, debris, and other particles that may affect the air quality of your home. If it is not doing this, it is probably broken, and you should consider getting a replacement.

Strange Noise

Your HVAC units should let out a quiet hum when in use, but the sound should be pleasantly low enough to ignore. In any situation, when you start hearing odd noises such as grinding or squealing coming from the units, you should call a technician over. The likely cause is age wearing the unit down, but the technician will help confirm the exact cause.

Once the cause is known, consider the benefits of replacing the entire heating and cooling system with a more efficient one.

Unusual Odor

Your heating and cooling systems should not be letting out any odor at all. If your home starts smelling strange and you suspect the HVAC unit is responsible for it, you should call a technician to confirm your guess. It is common for old units to emit smells from secreting mold in the ducts. It could also be from wiring melting or some leakages in the system.

At the end of the check-up, the technician will tell you whether to replace the system or not. Once you install a new HVAC system, the air quality in your home will increase, and the foul odor will leave.

Energy Bills Increasing

One of the most consistent signs that it is time to replace or repair your HVAC system is that your energy bills increase. This is because when your HVAC system develops a fault, it works extra hard to make up for it. This can be your furnace acting up, meaning you should reach out to Big Bear furnace service experts.

The extra work your HVAC does strains your power and causes your energy ratings to spike. Therefore, if you notice that your monthly energy bills are increasing without cause, reach out to experts for assistance. Prepare yourself for the likelihood of replacing the system if necessary.

A Checklist for Replacement

If you are waiting to ask a technician, “is it time to replace or repair my HVAC system,” we have made it easy. This checklist will tell you when it is necessary to replace your HVAC system and not just repair it.


If your HVAC system is nearing the end of its lifespan, you should give more thought to replacing it over repair. Ideally, any unit in its second decade is better replaced than repaired, especially if any other factor on this list applies to it.

Repair costs

If the repair cost of your HVAC system is more than half of the price of a new unit, you should go for a replacement. It is more cost-efficient, and you will enjoy a new unit better than an old one.


A heating or cooling system is only worth keeping for as long as it is efficient. If you are not getting the desired temperature in your home, you should replace the unit with a new one.

Other factors you should tick on your checklist include the frequency of repair, and safety of the unit, among others.

Consult an Expert: Call Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating Today

Several signs will tell you if it is time to replace or repair your HVAC system. If you are not sure, you can consult professional HVAC technicians like Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating to take a look at the unit and advise you. These experts offer efficient furnace service and air-con solutions in Big Bear.

Remember that HVAC systems have a long lifespan but must also be replaced when they stop being efficient.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.