A well-made, properly installed, and well-maintained HVAC system should last between 12 and 17 years. While this is true, there are things that homeowners can do to help extend the life of their system even more. If you want to increase your HVAC life expectancy, be sure to use the tips and information here. Doing so will help you get many more years of life from your system.
1. Schedule at Least Two Tune-Ups Each Year
Modern HVAC systems aren’t really that high maintenance. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that regular maintenance isn’t something you need to invest in. Your air conditioner and your furnace need to be inspected, cleaned and tuned up a minimum of one time per year.
It is a good idea to schedule service for your air conditioner during the spring and service for your furnace in the latter part of the summer or early fall. This will ensure the system has been optimized for efficient operation the very first day it’s needed.
Also, if the technician finds a serious issue, it can be dealt with before changing over for the season.
The majority of HVAC system tune-ups will include a complete inspection, along with lubrication for all the moving parts. Other services typically provided include checking the refrigerant levels, clearing out any buildup in the condensate drain tube, condenser cleaning, replacing the filters, and checking the heat exchanger for any cracks. Your HVAC technician may perform other tasks, as well, to help make the system more efficient, safer, and to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
2. Ensure the Unit in Place is the Proper Size
It’s important to make sure the HVAC system being used in your home is the right size. This is achieved by having a technician perform a load calculation.
If a system that is the wrong size is installed, it is going to lead to much faster wear and tear.
For example, if the system in your home is too small, it must work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. As a result, it will likely run constantly as it attempts to cool or heat the home to the desired temperature.
If the system is too large, it will achieve the desired temperature setting too quickly. This will result in frequent cycling, which may cause moisture issues along with additional wear and tear.
3. Change the Filter on a Regular Basis
While your HVAC technician will likely check the filters in your system during the twice a year checkup, this is a task that is really up to you. If you are like most people, you are probably using the 30-day fiberglass air filters or the three-month pleated filters. You need to make sure you are checking these on a regular basis.
If your filters are extremely dirty, you need to replace them now. This is true even if it is ahead of your established schedule.
If the air filter is dirty, it means your HVAC system must work hard to circulate air properly through your home. This is especially problematic for the fan, but the entire system will suffer if it can’t “breathe.”
4. Avoid Overworking the System
You need to make sure that you are realistic with the level you set on your thermostat. If it is 100 degrees outside, it is not reasonable to set the thermostat in your home at 68 degrees. Your system will run all day long without ever being able to reach the desired temp.
A good way to help ensure that your system can last as long as possible is by installing a programmable thermostat. This will help ensure that your system is set for reasonable temperatures and that it doesn’t have to work so hard that wear and tear occurs.
5. Use the “Auto” Fan Setting
There are two fan settings on most HVAC systems. This includes the “auto” setting that instructs the fan to only run when the system is actively cooling or heating, or the “on” setting, which tells the fan to run constantly.
There are some systems that have dual-speed fans. This provides a much slower and more energy-efficient setting for the fan between the cooling and heating cycles.
Keep in mind, while the “on” setting isn’t recommended at all times, there are several benefits. It helps to trap more dirt and dust, and in a home where people have allergies, it will make it easier to breathe.
While this is true, the biggest disadvantage is that it will force the system to work harder. This will make its lifespan much shorter. Also, if you leave your thermostat on the “on” setting, the filters are going to clog up faster. If you don’t change them properly, it is going to be quite taxing to the system.
6. Help Your System Have a Longer Lifespan
You can take it upon yourself to help extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit. For example, you can close the blinds during the summer months to help filter the sunlight, you can sue the ceiling fans in your home, and ensure your home is properly insulated and sealed.
You also need to clear your exterior system from any debris or sticks. This will ensure nothing impedes the flow of air.
7. Check the Condenser
The condenser of your air conditioner, which is designed to stand up to the elements, can suffer damage. From windblown debris, hail, or something else, if damage occurs, you need to take action.
From time to time, especially after a major storm has passed through, be sure to look for any signs of damage to your condenser. As mentioned above, while looking for damage, clear out any weeds or debris that are nearby. This will ensure the condenser has plenty of room to “breathe.”
8. Consider Upgrading Your Home’s Insulation
If you don’t have to run the HVAC system as often, it is going to last longer. When it comes to keeping the air inside your home at the desired temperature, there’s no question that insulation can be your secret weapon.
The most important area to check and see if there is sufficient insulation in place is in your home’s attic. The total amount of insulation and the type that you need will vary based on where you live. It’s a good idea to check with the insulation climate map provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to get to know the best option for you.
If the insulation in your home is insufficient, it may be a good idea to add more insulation into the wall cavities or to insulate the basement. A good way to figure out where your insulation is and to determine what areas are weak is by investing in a professional energy audit.
9. Get Repairs in a Timely Manner
Have you noticed that your HVAC system isn’t operating as efficiently as it once did? Are your energy costs going up and does your home not seem as comfortable – temperature-wise – as it did in the past?
If so, all these are signs that it may be time to invest in HVAC system repairs. Don’t wait to call the professionals for this service. The longer you wait for repairs, the worse the issues are going to become.
By calling for help and service at the first sign of a problem, you can help minimize wear and tear and reduce the likelihood of a serious repair being needed. This is going to also help keep repair costs low.
HVAC Life Expectancy: Everything You Need to Know
When it comes to HVAC life expectancy, there are more than a few factors that you have to keep in mind. If you want to improve the potential lifespan of your HVAC residential or commercial unit, it’s a good idea to use the tips and information found here.
Make sure you don’t put off ensuring your system is maintained and cared for. If you fail to take the proper steps to keep it working efficiently, then the likelihood that you will have to replace your system, sooner rather than later, is high.
If you want to learn more about when you need to invest in professional maintenance for your HVAC system, or if you need to schedule service now, contact us. We are here to provide you with the high-quality HVAC services that you need and ensure that your system lasts for many years to come.
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