How Long will My HVAC Last
Your HVAC system is an important part of your home and your comfort. These days, living through a summer or winter without air conditioning or heat seems unthinkable. However, if your system dies unexpectedly, you might have to endure some discomfort while you find a replacement. A new system can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 – depending on the size of your home and the quality of the system. Knowing when you will need to replace your current system can be a big help, so you can plan for it financially. Weather Crafters can help you install or replace an HVAC system.
So the obvious question is: How long will my HVAC system last? The answer can vary a lot, depending on how well the system is maintained, the quality of the system, and if it is the correct fit for the space. It also depends on the individual parts within the system. As a whole, HVAC systems can live from 10 to 25 years. The average lifespan of a furnace can be from 15 to 25 years, while an air conditioning unit only lives about 12 to 15 years.
How well is the system maintained?
HVAC systems need to be routinely checked and serviced at least once a year, preferably twice a year. You should schedule an appointment with your HVAC specialist in the fall, before you turn on the heat, and in the spring, before using the air conditioner. You can also help make sure your system is running efficiently by changing the air filter regularly – every 30-90 days (as specified on the filter). To extend your system’s life, the key is to have it running as efficiently as possible. This happens when air flow moves smoothly throughout the house – no clogged filters, blocked air ducts, or leakey doors and windows. The HVAC specialist checks many of these things, but you can improve your home’s energy efficiency by scheduling an energy audit.
What is the quality of the system?
The quality of the system can be reflected in the price tag. The more expensive a system is, the better quality it should be, and the longer it should live. If you purchase a model with a poor quality part, the whole system will suffer because of that one bad part. If you opt for something of lower quality, you could end up paying the difference in repairs if a part goes bad. However, this may not always be true, and a faulty part can lead to much bigger problems. Do some online research and talk to your HVAC specialist to determine which brands are known for quality throughout the system. According to Consumer Reports, the Top 5 brands for reliability in 2020 were Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Lennox, and Carrier. While these brands have a good reputation, there are other great options out there. Get in touch with Weather Crafters, and we can give you recommendations based on your individual budget and needs.
Is it the correct fit for the space?
The best way to help your HVAC system live a long and happy life is to help it run efficiently. To do this, it needs to be correctly sized. If a system is too small for a space, it will be constantly running to try to keep up with the demand, and constantly failing. An optimal system runs by heating or cooling air gradually, over time, and then turning off, until more air is needed to maintain the temperature. An under-sized system will constantly run, trying to play catch up. This is a huge waste of energy, and it will quickly shorten the lifespan of a system. On the opposite end of things, you could also purchase and install a system that is too big for a space. This might not seem to be a problem, but it is. A system is built to produce air for a certain amount of space. Just as an undersized unit will underproduce heated or cooled air, an oversized unit will overproduce. This obviously is a problem for the systems efficiency, because it is creating more heated or cooled air than needed. An HVAC system is built to run the length of it’s cycle – if you have an oversized unit, it will heat or cool the space too quickly and turn off. It takes more energy for the system to turn on, than to keep running. Let’s say a cycle is supposed to take 30 minutes, but only takes 10 minutes. The system will turn off when it reaches the desired temperature. If it turns off after 10 minutes, it will have to turn back on in 20 minutes to maintain the temperature. So if it does it’s job in 10 minutes, and turns back on 20 minutes later, it has turned on twice in a 30 minute window. However, if it ran it’s normal 30 minute cycle, it would only turn on once in a 30 minute period. Turning on takes a lot more energy, and it wears out the parts of the machine more quickly.
Knowing how long your HVAC unit will last is important because it helps you budget and prepare to replace it. You can also extend the life of your system by making sure it is well taken care of by having a professional do regular check ups. When it is time to install a new system, let us help you determine the best HVAC system for your home. Based on your budget, space size, and other important factors, Weather Crafters can give you recommendations, based on our own extensive knowledge and experience of various brands and models.