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Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

What Is HVAC Retrofitting? Does it Make Sense for Your Home?


In your home, there’s already a way to get warm or cool air from one room to the next. There’s ductwork, vents, and a whole system already installed (at least, in most modern homes). So what happens when the actual air conditioner itself goes out? Or when your heater fails?

That’s when you consider an HVAC retrofit in Northbrook, IL. It’s when you don’t want to rip out the old ductwork or even your AC cabinet, but you clearly need components to be switched out and a breath of life pushed into your HVAC unit.

Why Would You Retrofit?

Buying a brand-new HVAC system is expensive. Especially since SEER2 rating requirements hit in early 2023. While the energy-efficient models of today can be enticing to get your hands on, the sticker shock is alarming for many (rightfully so).

Retrofitting is the right choice when your HVAC system works well–the ducts are clear and tested/sealed, there are no ventilation issues, and most of your components are sitting pretty.

But components fail in your air conditioner or heater, and they need to be switched out for the rest of your HVAC unit to keep operating properly. You wouldn’t scrap your whole car just because you needed to replace the engine, right?

How Does it Work?

Most homes have forced-air heating and cooling. Fans kick on and blow temperature-controlled air through your ductwork, then it flows into the rooms of your home, and voila–you start enjoying that comfort.

Instead of replacing the entire AC cabinet or a whole furnace, you replace parts of it. Replacing one part? That’s just a repair–retrofitting means you’re swapping out multiple core components of your HVAC to bring it back to life.

But you can’t just throw new components into a 15-year-old air conditioner, so that’s where the retro part of retrofitting comes into play: you get exact replacements for the parts that failed.

Most manufacturers still have a stock of old parts to sell to HVAC contractors, like us. That way, you get a cheaper option as opposed to replacing your entire HVAC unit, and you put years on your HVAC unit’s lifespan at the same time. If a lot of the non-core components are fine, like your ductwork, there’s no reason to do a full replacement.

Can You DIY Retrofit an HVAC Unit?

While it’s certainly possible with sufficient experience, it’s not recommended. It’s much harder for someone who isn’t part of an HVAC contractor company to acquire these parts, and the price difference could be staggering if you do. We do our best to find exact part replacements that won’t break the bank, when they’re available.

Schedule a Retrofit Today

Retrofitting might be the right option for your HVAC unit. If you know there’s an issue with your components, but you’re not ready to do a full-scale replacement, retrofitting should be right for you.

Schedule an appointment where our technicians can inspect your HVAC unit and see if it’s prime for retrofitting.

Contact Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today to schedule your HVAC retrofit appointment as soon as possible.

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