Your HVAC system is what makes your home livable and comfortable in the extreme cold and stifling heat. It’s essential. You don’t have time for mechanical breakdowns, so planning ahead is key.
While it’s a common question from homeowners, it’s hard for even the most experienced technician to give a straight answer when asked about the life span of an HVAC system. So many variables play a part.
Maintenance Is the Key Factor
Above all else, the way you maintain your HVAC system will determine how long it lasts. If you never change the filters and ignore manufacturer-recommended tuneups, you could see it fail in as little as eight years. If you abide by a strict maintenance schedule, it may last as long as 30 years.
This takes an investment on your part, in the form of both time and money.
You can take care of some of the maintenance tasks on your own, such as changing the filters on a regular basis. But for other parts of system servicing, such as replacing refrigerant, you may need to hire a technician.
When you look at the big picture, the minor cost of regular service fees is a smart investment. Maintenance checks extend the life of your unit, so you spend less on major repairs and expensive system replacements over time.
How Often Does it Run?
If you run your HVAC system for most of the year, it’s going to last fewer years. Also, if you have your thermostat cranked up high in the winter and as low as possible in the summer, the system will have to work harder when it’s on. This will shorten its life span as well.
If you want to protect your HVAC system from an early breakdown, try to keep your thermostat at a reasonable level and take other steps to prevent energy loss, such as investing in energy-efficient windows.
Does it Fit the Home?
If the original HVAC system wasn’t sized correctly, it may be forced to run overtime to heat or cool your entire home. If you added square footage to your home since the installation, you may be overtaxing the system as well.
When installing a new system, it’s important to trust a trained expert who knows how to accurately fit your HVAC to the size of your home.
What’s the Tipping Point?
In general, the average life span of most well-maintained systems is 20 years. Most experts say that once your HVAC is 75 percent into its useful life and requires repairs that cost more than 25 percent of the cost to replace the entire system, it’s probably time to invest in a new one.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Besides avoiding spending money on repairs to your expiring system, HVAC replacement can pay off by lowering your energy bills. New systems function more efficiently, saving you money every month.
Debating whether it’s time to repair or replace your HVAC system? Roberts Mechanical can provide a complete system inspection and a free quote for a new one — call us today.