If you own a home, you know the pain of keeping your HVAC system running as it ages. Discover how long your system should last and how to extend its life.
Understanding Does HVAC Mean
Before getting further into detail, it’s important to step back and discuss what HVAC means and what it is in your home. HVAC simply stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
This includes your furnace or other heater, your air conditioning, plus the ductwork to move the conditioned air throughout your home. Fortunately, your entire HVAC system doesn’t have only one set service life where all the components wear out together.
Rather, different parts of the system have different expected service lives, allowing you to separate the costs of replacement if it makes sense for your home. Let’s look at how long each component of your system should serve your home.
How Long Does a Furnace Last?
The average gas-fueled forced air furnace should serve your home for 15 to 20 years. As the furnace gets older, you’ll find two different issues that often lead to a replacement.
First, components in your furnace will wear out with use, requiring repairs to replace those components. This adds up over time as more parts in the furnace wear out. Just like an old car needing repairs, at some point, it makes more sense to replace the unit rather than continue to repair it.
This is especially true when you consider the second issue commonly experienced with aging furnaces, which is reduced efficiency. As your furnace ages, you’ll notice that it slowly consumes more energy to heat or cool your home, a result of reduced efficiency. Add to this that furnaces have increasingly better efficiency as technology improves. Even if your furnace seems to be running strong, you’re probably paying more than you need to in both repairs and energy costs.
How Long Does Central Air Last?
Air conditioners tend to wear out a little more quickly than furnaces, usually lasting 10 to 15 years. A major difference between furnaces and air conditioners is the reliance on maintaining the right refrigerant level. If there’s even a small leak, it puts exceptional strain on the compressor, cutting time from the service life.
How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?
A heat pump is a combination unit, allowing you to both heat and cool your home. It operates in much the same way as a central air conditioner, using a refrigerant to transfer heat. The difference in the heat pump is the reversing technology, allowing the unit to additionally transfer heat from outside into your home. Heat pumps come in the form of air source, buried ground loop, and water source if you live near a source of groundwater. Due to the need for secondary heaters over the winter, a heat pump in Grand Junction is likely to have about the same service life as a central air system, usually 10 to 15 years.
How Long Does Ductwork Last?
Few people think about the ductwork serving their home and that it will also wear out over time. This happens due to pressure issues from airflow restrictions, plus the vibration from the system running. Generally, ductwork has an expected service life of about 10 to 15 years when it’s properly installed, sealed, and the system operates properly.
How To Extend Your System’s Service Life
The only way to get the full-service life from your system is to give it the maintenance it requires. Start by keeping your filter clean and changing it regularly based on how quickly it clogs. Plan to check it monthly, and change it once there is substantial visible dirt. Extend the filter’s life by gently vacuuming off the dirt when you check it.
Next, you’ll want to get seasonal maintenance on your system, usually in the fall and spring. Fall maintenance focuses on your heating, while spring focuses on your air conditioning. During maintenance, a technician performs a deep clean to keep the system operating efficiently. They also do a thorough test, looking for minor problems that may compound over time so that you can fix them before they start reducing your system’s life.
People around Grand Junction have trusted Home Comfort Services to keep their homes comfortable since 2016. Our expert team offers heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair along with a wide range of residential plumbing services. Call to schedule your HVAC maintenance or installation consultation with our team today.