Ever heard of pre planned obsolescence? It’s basically a fancy term for manufacturing practices that seem to be unethical because the intention is that the equipment will fail immediately after the warranty expires. As an HVAC contractor who has been in the industry for 30 years, I can definitely say there is some truth to all the speculation. Equipment certainly does not last like it did 50 years ago, that’s a fact. But, is there an up side to the equipment that we have today? Continue reading as I attempt to unpack as many details as I can for you, so you can be the most informed consumer possible before making such a momentous decision as investing in your next HVAC system.
Efficiency vs. longevity. Alright, so we’ve already established equipment does not last as long as it used to, now let’s talk about the up side. I wrote an article about ductless HVAC systems(mini-split) not long ago where I attempt to explain SEER ratings, feel free to go to my website and read the full article under mini-split systems. SEER or seasonal energy efficiency ratio is how much you have to pay for an established amount of cooling. The higher the SEER
rating, the more efficient the equipment is. I use SEER calculators to inform my customers why it makes sense to spend more on the installation of their new HVAC system so it would be “paying you back” over it’s lifetime. I will start the next segment by doing some simple math to illustrate more thoroughly my point.
Let’s start by creating some hypothetical scenarios. Let’s say we have a home that has roughly 2500 conditioned square feet, it is a heat pump system, and the cost of electricity in your area is $.14 per kilowatt hour(your actual may be slightly more or less). Now let’s say we use our HVAC systems an average of 10 hours per day to heat and cool our home throughout the year. While it’s a rare occasion that we see 8 SEER equipment in the field still in operation today, there are still a few out there, so we’ll use this as our minimum efficiency in our example. Now, let’s say that we have decided to “go green” and leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible so that we pass on a healthier planet for posterity. While your intentions are certainly altruistic, I think you are going to be surprised by how rewarding
this decision will be for you, your family and future generations. By upgrading to the new 25 SEER heat pump system, you will be saving $2,499 annually on your electricity usage, $12,495 over 5 years, $24,990 over 10 years and $37,485 over 15 years which is basically the upper end of HVAC equipments’ lifespan here in this part of Texas. Would you say that the $8K difference between the minimum 14 SEER system installation and the maximum SEER system installation seems to pale in comparison to the amount of savings you’ll receive over it’s lifetime?
Everything in this life has variables, while 8 SEER equipment seemed to last forever in comparison to todays’ systems, you wouldn’t want to receive a power bill at current rates for it I promise. So the trade off is less longevity but higher efficiency and even though the example in the previous paragraph may seem exaggerated, the point of this entire article is to inform the reader of the benefits of higher SEER equipment. Electricity prices continue to increase as with everything else in this world, but at least there are choices we can make to help mitigate the damage to our financial futures. If you’re ready to begin the conversation of replacement of your old inefficient HVAC equipment, give me a call. We are here to help and we offer free estimates and second opinions. You’ll also receive every option available to you and be informed about the benefits of air purification systems, surge protection and many other IAQ(indoor air quality) products that can be a benefit to you and your family.