Your home’s HVAC system is essential to its comfort. Yet sometimes, these systems start experiencing problems. Your AC may start acting up. On the other hand, the furnace’s blower may malfunction. You may invest more and more in repairs, but eventually, your system fails. So, what can you expect from an HVAC system? How long does it typically last before you need to replace it?

Before delving into how long various systems last, it is essential to understand the components of an HVAC system. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It keeps your home’s air clean, fresh, and comfortable. However, the acronym is misleading.

Every component of your HVAC system is intricate, and what appears to be a total failure is frequently a simple replacement or repair of one of its components. Also, your HVAC system may be different from your neighbor’s; we have a variety of heat systems with various fuel sources. Some heat systems exist independently from the AC, while others are part of a combined system with exhaust systems and vent fans. And so, the lifespan of your HVAC system will vary depending on your system type.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a HVAC System?

The average lifespan of HVAC systems is 15 to 25 years. HVAC systems are essential, heavily utilized components of a home. If you live where all four seasons have extreme weather, you’ll probably use your HVAC system almost all year, which means more wear and tear. HVAC systems in more temperate climates may experience less system deterioration.

Although they are workhorses, HVAC systems are designed to withstand a high level of use and last between 15 and 25 years. Because most of them are expensive to purchase and install, most people expect them to last for decades. However, 15 to 25 years is still quite long, and there are numerous ways to extend this lifespan.

Consider that the lifespans of individual components, such as furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, thermostats, and water heaters, vary.

How Does the Lifespan of Individual Components Vary?

An HVAC’s individual components include:

  • The element that generates power
  • The ductwork or pipes that water or air travels throughout your home
  • The equipment that controls airflow and temperatures
  • The air and condensation exhausting systems

The less expensive components, such as temperature regulators, thermostats, and vent hoses, are frequently replaced as part of regular maintenance. The more expensive items, nevertheless, tend to be more durable. For instance, air conditioning units usually last for about 17 years with normal use and regular maintenance.

However, they fail sooner than heat-generating components because of the moisture drawn into and exhausted from the system. The dehumidifying chemicals and the dust and debris drawn into the system from your household’s building materials corrode the condenser’s AC copper elements, causing erosion and breakdown.

The unit’s size doesn’t affect the AC’s lifespan unless the unit isn’t the appropriate size for your home. For instance, if you use a 1.5-ton AC to cool your house instead of the appropriately sized 5-ton air conditioner, it will break down much more quickly than the appropriately sized (but more expensive) unit.

On the other hand, the average lifespan of heat pumps is 16 years, while furnaces last around 20 years. Depending on your usage, it can be difficult to determine the lifespan of the entire system, as you may need to replace your AC at 12 years and your furnace at 20. At this point, you’re already midway through the lifespan of your new AC. While this may make you feel like you’re constantly replacing or repairing major components, it helps spread out the replacement costs so that you’re not forced to replace everything at once.

The Importance of Maintenance in Longevity

Several factors influence the longevity of an HVAC system, but routine maintenance is the most crucial. How frequently do you operate your air conditioner? Do you keep it on 24 hours a day during the summer or just during the hottest part of the day? Climatic conditions and the frequency of system usage directly impact its durability; the more frequently you operate your system, the more wear and tear it endures, thereby reducing its reasonable lifespan.

Ironically, insulation improvements have created new problems for HVAC systems. Although the improved envelope of your property reduces your general need for heating and cooling energy and traps air inside the home, it hinders air circulation compared to homes with draftier envelopes. This allows dust, chemicals, and building debris to linger in the air, which is detrimental to machinery.

It is also advisable to have annual tune-ups and cleanings by skilled experts to keep the systems working smoothly. Express Plumbing Heating & Air recommends servicing air conditioners in the early spring and furnaces in early fall before cold weather.

We will clean out coils and condensers, check overflow valves, tighten connections, and inspect for issues that are usually hidden until they cause an even greater and more expensive problem.

Although annual maintenance may seem like a needless venture if your system is functioning smoothly, the money is well spent if we detect and deal with tiny problems before they become significant problems. Even better is if you have a home warranty — servicing your system won’t be as pricey, and you’ll save on perhaps replacing the complete system sooner than intended.

You can also undertake some maintenance activities on your own. For instance, changing filters regularly (more often if you have pets or live in a dry, dusty location) is pretty easy. You can also keep your thermostats clean and dust-free and periodically sweep vents and exhausts or air returns to keep your system working optimally. Call Express Plumbing Heating & Air for more expensive repairs.

Extending the Duration From the Start

Although maintenance extends your HVAC system’s lifespan, it can’t beat starting on the right foot. Thus, before installing an HVAC system, seek expert recommendations. Express Plumbing Heating & Air will help you select the best equipment for a reasonable market price. We’ll also help you install all sections of your equipment appropriately. Remember that improper installation can create issues.

When you incorrectly install the units, they may not perform correctly. And if they do seem to function, there can be extra strain exerted on the device. This can shorten the predicted lifespan of parts by up to half.

We can also help you verify if your unit is the right size for your home. A unit that’s too huge will cool or heat the residence too quickly. This causes it to switch on and off too frequently, which might wear it down. If a unit is too small, it will have to run continually to keep the interior at a reasonable temperature. Running too often or too long might create unnecessary wear and tear.

Call Express Plumbing Heating & Air today if you’re thinking of replacing or repairing your HVAC system in Boise, ID or the surrounding areas. We offer plumbing, drain cleaning, heating, and AC services. You can schedule your service today online, and one of our knowledgeable representatives will call to confirm your scheduled service. We’ll also answer all your inquiries. Contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air for more information.

Brad Jordan

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