Your home’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition) system runs ’round
the clock, 24/7, all year long. You can’t expect it to last forever, but you
can expect your furnace to last for about several years—depending on the model,
you may get 15-20 years out of your furnace and 10-15 years out of your air
conditioner. It’s a big investment to replace your furnace or air conditioner,
so we have five tips for you to try to extend the life of your HVAC system.
1. Schedule two HVAC
tune-ups per year
Contact a home services company to give your furnace a tune-up in the fall and your air conditioner a tune-up in the spring. This preventative maintenance usually includes a good inspection, cleaning, lubrication and any necessary adjustments. (Save $20 on a Tune Up)
2. Change the air
Disposable fiberglass filters should be replaced every 30 days, but check
your filter and furnace manual to see how often you should be replacing the
filter. A dirty filer will make your HVAC system work harder to circulate air
and that can cause extra wear on the system.
3. Clean your ducts
Be sure to keep the return air vents clean and prevent the build-up of dust
and debris. You might also want to have your ducts professionally cleaned so
that your system is delivering the cleanest air possible.
4. Give the HVAC
system a break sometimes
Does your HVAC system really need to be running almost 24/7? Can you give
it a break when you’re on vacation? On a cool evening could you open the
windows and give the a/c the night off? You’ll be saving energy and giving the
system a break.
5. Upgrade your
The better your home is insulated, the less your HVAC system will need to
run to maintain the temperature. The first place to check for sufficient
insulation is your attic.
When to Replace Your
Even if you follow these tips and take good care of your HVAC system,
eventually it will need to be replaced, but when? If you’re approaching the
projected end of life for the unit, you can’t go wrong replacing it because you
will be saving money with the new, more energy efficient replacement. But if
you want to prolong the system as long as possible, contract with a reliable
home services company for your annual tune-ups and then ask the HVAC tech for
their input on when to replace. Be honest with them about the maintenance
you’ve carried out on the unit—even if that means confessing that sometimes you
didn’t replace the air filter for a season or two. Hopefully you can get to know
the techs from the home services company and get to where you can trust their
input on when to replace your furnace or air conditioner.
Take good care of your HVAC system and it may well last longer than the
average lifespan, but also know when to replace it before it becomes unreliable
or so inefficient that it’s costly to keep it running.