When we first bought our home, my husband and I were aware that the packaged heating/cooling unit was extremely old and would need to be replaced in the near future.
The equipment was large and unattractive but easily handled our needs.
We live in an area with extremely hot and humid summers but mild and short winters. The temperature fluctuates from the triple digits to the low forties. Because of other home improvement projects, we put off purchasing a new heating and cooling system. The old unit held up for several years before we had problems. In the middle of July, I noticed warm air coming from the vents. I tried fiddling with the thermostat setting and cleaning the air filter but couldn’t fix the issue. I hired an HVAC contractor who took the outdoor unit apart and discovered a small refrigerant leak. He said there was no way to determine whether the leak was a new development or an old, very slow leak. The age of our unit made it impossible to replace parts and totally fix the system. He recommended adding and recharging the refrigerant and hoping for the best. The repair could possibly last for a week or several years. This solution cost me around $200. It held up for about six months. At that point, I decided against spending another $200 on a temporary repair. I chose to invest several thousand dollars into a brand new packaged heating and cooling system. The unit is much smaller in size, makes a lot less noise and provides superior comfort. It also costs less to operate. The savings on our heating and cooling bills will help to offset the purchase price.