Your HVAC system is a huge investment in your home. So, how do you know when to upgrade and how long your system will last?
The average lifespan of a typical HVAC system is dependent on a lot of variables, so it spans a wide range. Most HVAC systems last from 10-20 years. Air conditioners and heat pumps usually last 10-15 years with furnaces and boilers lasting 15-20 years. That’s a pretty big range, right?
Keeping in mind how wide the average lifespan of a system is, it’s obvious that most people are shooting for the longer end. We all want to get the most out of our investments. The key to your HVAC system lasting as long as possible is regular maintenance. Fortunately, HVAC maintenance is fairly simple.
- Change Filters
Dirty filters force your unit to work harder.Harder work means faster wear and tear on the unit, which leads to a shorter lifespan.Always change your filters at least as often as specified by the manufacturer.
- Annual Tune-Ups
Professional eyes and hands will help keep your system in top shape.A technician can also diagnose an issue that you may not have noticed before it becomes a bigger problem.
- Clean Debris from Exterior
Just like filters need to be replaced, the exterior portions of your system need to be regularly cleared of debris.Debris can cause blocked fans and other problems that will make the unit less efficient.
- Inspect and Replace Refrigerant
Refrigerant is necessary for proper cooling.It’s a good idea to have this checked whenever you have your annual tune-up.
Fix or Replace?
No matter how well maintained your system is, eventually it will need to be replaced. How do you decide when, though? It can be difficult to determine if a costly repair is worthwhile or if it would be better to replace the entire system. It’s necessary to find a balance between the life left in the system, the cost to repair it, and the cost to replace it. A good rule of thumb is to repair the system if there are more than five years left of its life expectancy or the repair costs less than 50% of the new system. An HVAC professional can also look at your specific situation and help you determine the most cost-effective course of action for you.