Cooling and heating systems are important aspects of every American home. HVAC units normally affect your energy consumption and comfort significantly. Since an HVAC system is a big investment in your residential property, it makes sense to get the most out of it. The lifespan of your unit will significantly depend on the level of maintenance you invest in and other factors. Generally, every manufacturer produces their unit slightly different from their competitors, and some brands and models tend to last longer than others.
On average, an HVAC unit will last between 10 and 25 years. However, it’s also good to know that different components of an HVAC unit have different lifespans. Your air conditioning unit can serve you for 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. However, if you don’t take good care of it, it’ll not go past 10 years regardless of the brand. With routine maintenance, your furnace can last for 20 years. If you purchase a high-quality unit from a top brand, your furnace can serve you for up to three decades.
Boilers last slightly longer than furnaces, with a lifespan between 20 and 35 years. On the other hand, your heat pump can last between 10 and 20 years, depending on the brand and frequency of usage. However, even with routine maintenance and proper care, there comes a time when a high-quality boiler, air conditioning unit, furnace, or heat pump breaks down and even requires a replacement. Here are some factors that determine an HVAC unit’s longevity and simple ways to extend its service life.
1. Frequency of Use
Homeowners who reside in regions with extreme temperatures depend on their cooling and heating units around the clock. HVAC systems that constantly run throughout the year have a short service life because they see more tears and wear. Filter changes, frequent cleanings, regular maintenance, and programmable thermostats can help your HVAC run efficiently, reducing its run time. Keep your outdoor unit away from direct sunlight and clear the area around it to enhance airflow inside the system. Clearing the area around the system will prevent its components from overheating and reduce their tear and wear, extending your equipment’s lifespan.
2. Sizing of HVAC Equipment
Before purchasing and installing HVAC equipment, you should allow a qualified technician to assess your house and calculate the load calculation to know the correct size of unit your home needs. This step is important since an incorrectly sized HVAC will struggle to sufficiently cool and heat your living space. It’ll affect your comfort levels and waste energy, increasing energy bills. Purchasing an undersized HVAC will force it to overwork and even run for longer periods to reach your preferred indoor temperature. As a result, your system components will wear out faster, shortening the service life of your HVAC equipment.
Oversized HVAC equipment, on the other hand, can make your indoor temperature uncomfortable. The excess capacity can cool or heat your home faster, so your space will not benefit from gradual cooling or heating. As a result, your home may end up with temperature swings that cause cold or hot spots. These temperature swings can cause your HVAC unit to shut down and start in rapid succession. This condition is called short-cycling and can wreak havoc on the unit if not addressed in time. The constant stopping and starting can increase tear and wear on the system components, leading to a shortened life span.
The climatic condition of your region and the positioning of your unit also determines the service life of your cooling and heating unit. If you reside in an area with dry weather, dirt, dust, and other debris will accumulate around the air filters and your coils more quickly. Inspect your unit for any buildups, and remember to change its filters regularly. Also, if you’ve positioned your outdoor unit close to bushes or landscaping, clear the entire area around it to boost air circulation. Keeping the area clean will prevent system components from overheating and reduce wear, prolonging your unit’s lifespan.
If there’s too little humidity or high humidity during specific seasons, your HVAC must work hard to keep your living space comfortable. During the winter, you can utilize a humidifier to provide comfortable levels of heated moisture in your indoor air. On the other hand, you can utilize a dehumidifier during summer to control excessive moisture from accumulating indoors. These two systems can reduce the humidification and dehumidification burden on your HVAC, buying it more service life.
4. Quality of Installation
Installing a new and highly efficient HVAC unit in your home has many benefits. You’ll get better indoor comfort and improved energy efficiency, among other benefits. Quality installation for the HVAC equipment is critical if you want to enjoy these benefits for a longer duration. Incorrect installation and poor workmanship can create weaknesses that increase tear and wear in your unit’s components. These installation errors can reduce your system’s efficiency, lead to regular repairs, and even impact your air quality and indoor comfort. They can also lead to premature failure of the equipment, forcing you to replace it sooner than expected.
HVAC units contain complex parts and components designed to work together flawlessly. Trained HVAC experts understand how the cooling and heating units function. They have the know-how, tools, skills, and experience to assemble your HVAC unit. These professionals inspect your home to ensure proper insulation and the right positioning of the air vents and ductwork before installing the equipment.
It’s therefore vital to hire a professional and licensed HVAC contractor to handle the installation process to avoid many pitfalls. Furthermore, licensed HVAC companies offer guarantees and warranties on HVAC parts, products, and installations. If there are problems post-installation, the warranty will cover product replacements and the necessary repairs and adjustments.
5. Insulation Level
The other thing that determines the service life of your HVAC equipment is the quality of your home’s insulation level. A properly insulated home will help you achieve maximum cooling and heating comfort and efficiency. Insulation keeps the conditioned air from the cooling and heating system from leaking outside. It also stops cold or hot outdoor air from entering your house.
If your floors, walls, windows, doors, and attic have poor insulation, your HVAC will have to overwork to maintain the preferred indoor temperatures. This increased usage will cause component wear and tear, leading to a shortened service life. Having the appropriate amount of well-installed insulation can improve your comfort and HVAC equipment efficiency and longevity.
6. HVAC Maintenance Schedule
The level of maintenance you invest in your HVAC equipment plays a major role in its longevity and efficiency. Preventative maintenance is critical to getting the most out of your HVAC system. A lack of it only expedites tear and wear, shortening your unit’s lifespan. During routine maintenance, your HVAC technician will inspect your system for internal problems, change filters, clean all the components, and alert you of any issues that might cause problems in the future. With a good preventive maintenance plan, your HVAC system will last longer since small issues are caught in time before they need costly repairs or replacements.
Get Expert HVAC Services Today
Your HVAC equipment’s lifespan depends on your home’s insulation, your region’s climatic condition, your maintenance plan, proper HVAC sizing, quality of installation, and frequency of use. If you’re worried about your HVAC system’s condition, our team at Proactive Comfort can help. Our professionals can perform a complete inspection of your unit to estimate its remaining lifespan. We also offer air conditioning, heating, and plumbing services throughout Nashua, NH and the surrounding regions. Contact us today for expert HVAC services.