When my husband and I first bought our house, we knew the heating/cooling unit wouldn’t go much further. It was a packaged unit that was obviously ancient. The outer cabinet showed signs of rust and the system made a tremendous amount of noise. However, it managed to maintain the ideal indoor temperature in both heating and cooling mode. A couple of years ago, during the middle of the summer, I noticed warm air coming from the vents. I messed around with the thermostat settings, changed the batteries and replaced the air filter on the system, but nothing fixed the problem. I finally called an HVAC contractor for repairs. The contractor removed the outer cabinet, cleaned out the buildup of debris and found a very small refrigerant leak. He said that the age of the system made it impossible to find replacement parts. He suggested simply refilling and recharging the refrigerant and seeing how long the repair lasted. It cost me $200, but the system once again provided plenty of cool air. A year later, I had the exact same problem again. This time, I was unwilling to invest several hundred dollars into fixing an outdated machine. I contacted the HVAC contractor and specified that I wanted the heating/cooling unit replaced. While it costs me several thousand dollars for a new system, I am saving money on lower utility bills every month. Plus, the equipment is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. It no longer startles me with a loud grinding sound every time it starts up, and the house stays cleaner. I can be confident that the new system isn’t going to quit during the middle of severe weather.