Are you curious to know how long does your HVAC system last? It is an essential question for a homeowner when considering the budget for buying a house. An HVAC can be expensive at first, but it can last longer, primarily if well maintained.
Typically, an HVAC system can last between 10 to 25 years, depending on the brand and how well the system is kept and maintained. The climate and how much the system is used during its lifespan can also impact its duration. Check this article to know more.
Let’s see what can impact your system and what you can do to make it last longer.
How long does each part of an HVAC system last?
Each component of an HVAC system has a life expectancy. Therefore, each part needs to be taken care of properly, and it can be replaced separately if it breaks. However, some parts are more critical than others, and when most of them become too old, it is more convenient to replace the entire system.
Here is a breakdown of how long each part is expected to last:
- Furnace: 15 to 25 years
- Boiler: 20 to 35 years
- Tankless water heater: 20 years
- Heat pump: 10 to 20 years
- Thermostat: up to 25 years
- Ductless mini-split: 10 to 30 years
- Air conditioning unit: up to 15 years
The furnace ( and other parts) can last longer if you undergo routine maintenance at least once a year. In addition, if your furnace is sized correctly for your home, it can last longer.
The boiler can last a bit longer than the furnace, and it requires replacement if it begins to leak. The tankless water heater has an average life span of 20 years. It can be longer depending on water quality in the area and, of course, routine maintenance (at least once every three years).
A heat pump can last 15 years on average, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how often it is used. Likewise, the air conditioning unit has an average lifespan of 15 years, and it requires maintenance once or twice a year to make it last as long as possible.
How to make your HVAC unit last longer?
Although each piece of equipment can last only as the materials can resist wear, it is always possible to increase an HVAC system’s lifespan. Of course, routine maintenance is the most important thing, but other actions can be vital too.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you properly maintain your system:
- Do not overuse the system
- Do regular cleaning of the system
- Do regular tune-ups
- Clean and maintain the ducts
- Change the filters regularly
- Inspect to find leaks
- Isolate and remove airflow blockage
- Try to keep the temperature consistent
- Schedule routine maintenance
There are small things you can do to safeguard your HVAC system. You can start by using the air conditioning only when really necessary. Constantly running the air conditioning can wear it off quicker.
For example, the system should be switched off when leaving the house for a while. It is easy to forget it when one is rushing out. However, only this simple action routinely done can save the system a lot of hours of operation.
Regular cleaning to remove anything from blocking air passage will help the system run more efficiently and prevent overwork. The outdoor unit should be kept free of leaves, dirt, and debris, and the indoor registers should stay open and be regularly cleaned.
Regular tune-ups are essential to extend the system’s lifespan. In addition, they are necessary to prevent any breakage and make sure everything is working as it should. Letting malfunctioning parts run can make the rest of the system work harder than necessary.
Duct cleaning is another crucial action to remove dirt and debris that can block air passage, and thus that makes the system overwork. In addition, filters should be routinely changed to ensure air passes without additional effort from the system.
Last but not least, the presence of leaks can damage the system. Regular check-ups and sealing of leaks can prevent the system from breaking or getting damaged.
How do you know if your HVAC system is bad?
If your system has a problem, you can figure that out even without a complete check-up, but from the presence of sure signs. For example, if your house is suddenly too humid, you know something is not working correctly.
In fact, a properly functioning HVAC system will expel humidity from your home. In addition, a strange smell can also indicate that there is something wrong with the system, especially if it is a persistent smell.
An unusual smell can indicate the presence of leaks or chemicals released in your home and should be taken care of immediately. Another indicator of a potential problem is the wrong temperature measured by the thermostat.
In most cases, the thermostat can be a malfunction, but if that is not the case, it can indicate a more serious situation with the HVAC unit. A strange or unusual noise can signify a problem with some parts of the unit, such as a loose part, a problem with the belt, etc.
It is better not to ignore those noises because they can transform into something worse. Another indication of a severe problem with your system is a vast difference in temperature from room to room. It can indicate that part of the system is not working or a more severe problem.
Another indirect indication that something is wrong with the HVAC system is a sudden increase in the power bill or that your system is turning on and off randomly throughout the day.
In general simple routine actions can ensure that an HVAC system can last longer. If you experience some of the above signs that signify that there is something wrong with the system is often necessary to call a professional.
Ignoring symptoms of a malfunction can be dangerous since a small problem can become way more severe over time.