An HVAC system is expected to last 15 to 25 years. However, it is not uncommon for some HVAC units to last a lot less than that because of various factors.
Everybody wants their HVAC system to last as long as it could. After all, an HVAC system is a major investment, and no one wants all that money to go down the drain in just a few years. It’s a good thing there are many ways that you can prolong the life of your air conditioning and heating system. Here are some things that make your HVAC system last longer.
A right-sized HVAC system
Homeowners are getting wiser when it comes to choosing an HVAC system, but there are those who still buy units that are not perfectly-sized for the area to be cooled or heated. Some buy systems that are too big for the room, while others purchase undersized units that have a hard time cooling or heating a given space.
When you have a right-sized HVAC system, you’ll be benefiting from the peak energy efficiency it provides. A perfectly-sized HVAC doesn’t cycle on and off frequently. It runs more continuously, and that extends the life of your system.
Replacing air filters
No HVAC system will ever last long if you don’t change the filters regularly. Filters collect all kinds of dirt to protect your HVAC system. They are essentially the first line of defense not only for your HVAC unit, but for the indoor air quality as well.
There are homes that have high efficiency air filters so the indoor air quality is better inside than it usually is outside, which underscores the importance of keeping those filters clean.
However, when the filter has become extremely filthy, and you don’t change it, it will reduce airflow. A reduced airflow makes your system work harder and the immediate effect is higher utility bills. In addition, all that hard work will take its toll on your system and reduce its life. Keep your intake system clean and clear, and your air conditioning will last longer.
Cleaning the air ducts
Ideally, there should be a less than 3-degree difference between the warmest and coolest spot in your home, and some housing developers engineer the supply and return ductwork to make this happen.
Like your air filters, your air ducts can get dirty and clogged over time. If your air conditioning has to work with air ducts that are caked with dust and debris, it has to put more effort into drawing in air and delivering conditioned air. Your air ducts should have regular cleanings, so your unit doesn’t have to strain too much trying to keep you and your family cool or warm. Less stress for your HVAC means better longevity.
Giving your HVAC a rest
Giving your air conditioner a rest every now and then will help add more years to its life. Instead of making it run every single day, turn it off during moderately warm days, and use fans instead. More often than not, they would be enough to keep you comfortable.
Inspecting the outdoor unit
It’s easy to forget that HVAC systems have an outdoor unit which is prone to the kind of damage that leaves, debris left behind by storms, or even broken tree limbs can cause. Always remember to give your outdoor unit a look-over periodically to make sure none of the above elements are giving it a hard time. When your outdoor unit is debris-free, it can operate more smoothly and efficiently, which makes it last longer.
Regular preventative maintenance
One of the most sure-fire ways of adding more years to the life of your HVAC unit is to schedule regular preventative maintenance services. To ensure that your unit will run at peak performance with minimal to no trouble for years, have an HVAC professional check every aspect of the system.
When you get an air conditioning and heating specialist to check out your unit, you can expect him or her to do the following, and more:
Check the refrigerant and see if your unit has enough of it
Test for refrigerant leaks
Clean the condenser coil
Flush the condensate drain line
Check air ducts for leaks and seal them
Check if belts are tight enough
Ideally, your HVAC system must be serviced at least once a year. However, it wouldn’t hurt if you have it maintained twice a year, particularly in the weeks before winter and summer set in to make sure nothing goes wrong with it during the hottest and coldest days of the year.
If you have a heat pump, then twice-yearly preventative maintenance is the norm. Heat pumps, after all, barely get any rest the entire year as they see heavy use during the summer and the winter.
Considering the rising cost of purchasing and installing an HVAC system, it is in your best interest to do whatever you can to extend the life of your AC and heating unit. We can only hope that the tips provided above can help you do just that.
About this Guest Author: Michelle West is the Content and Engagement Manager for Precision Air & Heating and New AC Unit.