My husband and I decided to go ahead with tearing it out and installing new right away.
Buying an older home provides both benefits and drawbacks. My husband and I were both delighted with the architectural integrity, hardwood floors and ornate molding of the home. However, we’ve had to invest a ton of money into updates. When we first moved in, there was only a single power outlet in each room and the wiring was not up to code. The water pipes were corroded and the bathrooms needed to be totally gutted. A big concern of ours was the HVAC system. The furnace, air conditioner and duct system were all ancient and in terrible condition. We hired a local HVAC professional to assess the equipment and provide recommendations. He said we could probably live with the heating and cooling system for a couple of years, but we’d be wasting a tremendous amount of energy. Numerous holes and leaks at the seams of the ductwork were allowing about thirty percent of the heating and cooled air to escape. The furnace and air conditioner were both super old and not energy efficient. Plus, the units had not been properly maintained so weren’t operating at their best. We were reluctant to invest money into service, cleaning and sealing of the HVAC system when it all needed to be replaced as soon as possible. My husband and I decided to go ahead with tearing it out and installing new right away. We didn’t realize how complicated and big of a project it is to replace ductwork. We ended up tearing into walls and ceilings and waiting on a sheet metal shop to finish fabricating the new system. At least, with the walls torn down to the studs, it was easy to access the electric wires and plumbing pipes. We also added insulation and made the home more airtight and efficient.