HVAC systems are complicated machines made from a multitude of parts, not all of which have the same HVAC lifespan. The parts wear at different rates and the major components, usually a furnace and an air conditioner, will fail at different rates. The two primary drivers of HVAC longevity include use and maintenance. High use and lack of maintenance wear HVAC systems and shorten their lifetimes.
How to Estimate the Lifespan
Determine whether you use the heating or cooling system more. In this region, it’s likely you use the furnace more than the air conditioner. You can safely assume that the components unique to the furnace are more likely to fail first rather than the air conditioner. The only exception to this estimate is the outdoor condenser used for central air conditioners. They have constant exposure to the weather, which may corrode their parts before they mechanically fail. Such corrosion normally requires an A/C replacement.
Normal lifetimes for HVAC equipment range from 10 for a poorly maintained system to 20 and more years professionally managed and maintained equipment. Furnace failures are most often in the burner or the heat exchanger, while a failed compressor for an air conditioner usually calls for an A/C replacement.
How to Increase the Lifespan
The number one factor that affects the HVAC lifespan is the amount and quality of maintenance you perform. Maintenance includes:
Air filter changes. Running your HVAC system with a dirty filter is the most common cause of premature system failure.
Keeping the outdoor condenser clean. A dirty and crowded condenser reduce air conditioner performance and stresses all the A/C’s components. Don’t block the condenser and keep the coils clean.
Professional maintenance. Your HVAC contractor should tune up your system at least once a year. This preventive maintenance keeps the system running as efficiently and dependably as possible.
There is no doubt that maintenance increases HVAC lifespan and reduces energy costs. If you’d like to learn more or schedule a visit, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, providing HVAC services for greater Cleveland homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.