Do I need a new HVAC Unit?

Common Problems that Usually Mean It’s Time for a New HVAC System

Knowing when it’s time to replace your HVAC system requires the consideration of a number of factors, but one of the major ones is evaluating whether it’s a good financial decision. Depending on the age of your system, the size of a necessary repair will be a big factor in whether it might be best to proceed with the repair or replace the entire system.

(This article is best understood within the broader context of the lifecycle of your HVAC system. So if you haven’t already read it, please click over to our overview article first: Knowing When To Repair Or Replace Your HVAC System)

The list below are repairs that are considered major, and when they are needed on any system that is getting toward the end of life (12-15 years) there is a good chance they will spell the end of your HVAC system and it’ll be more cost-effective to replace the whole thing. Consulting with an HVAC expert you trust will help you make a good decision.

When you’re told these problems exist, and they don’t, that’s a problem. Check out our guide to Common HVAC Replacements Scams to Avoid.


ProblemWhat It DoesCost Range for Repair
Cracked heat exchangerIn a furnace the heat exchanger converts the heat from the gas burners into safe heat that can be circulated through your home. The exhaust containing carbon monoxide is vented outside your home, while the air blowing across the heat exchanger is heated and circulated into your home. When the heat exchanger cracks, the combustion process is affected and exhaust can mingle with indoor air, which is dangerous to occupants of the home.$1,500-$2,000
Bad/failed compressorThe compressor is what compresses the refrigerant into a $1,000 – $2,000
Leaking evaporator coilThe evaporator coil in an air conditioning system works to allow compressed refrigerant to evaporate from liquid to gas while absorbing heat in the process.$1,200 – $1,600
Leaking condenser coilThe condenser coil in an air conditioning system works to convert gas to liquid to gas while releasing heat into the air.$1,000+
Bad/failed main/control boardThe main board or control board receives signals from the thermostat to either heat or cool the home. The control board then controls the function of the individual component functions such as the ignition of the furnace, the defrost cycle on a heat pump, blower functions, and more.$400 – $800