How long does an HVAC System Last?

hvac techncian

What to expect from your HVAC system and how to maintain it.

How long does an HVAC System Last? Valley Heating and Cooling

If you have an HVAC system, you know how important a properly functioning unit is to your household. However, do you know how it works? If you have an HVAC unit and don't know much about it, read our article "What is an HVAC System?" to understand the basics. The next question is, do you know how to take care of your HVAC unit? If you don't or need a refresher, keep reading to learn when it's time to replace your unit and how to extend the life of your unit.

The Lifespan of an HVAC System

Typically, on average, a heating unit such as a furnace can last up to 20 years. An air conditioning unit, other than a window unit, can last between 12-15 years. This is just an average, and units can fail earlier than that without proper maintenance. Without general care, you might be left with a freezing cold or sweltering hot home if caught off guard with a broken HVAC system. Fixing or replacing it can be expensive, and it is a system that you don't want to wait to fix, considering it keeps your home comfortable. However, if properly maintained, your units can absolutely outlive the average HVAC lifespan. The efficiency of your system will also lessen throughout time. Your parent's 40-year-old unit is most likely not as efficient as your three-year-old system.  

When It's Time to Replace Your Unit 

If you have a feeling that it's time to get a replacement, there are a few ways to tell when it's time to replace or upgrade your HVAC system.

  • Your system isn't as energy efficient as it used to be.

If you track your bills, you should see similar costs when comparing the same months over the years. If you see a rise in payments but know that you're not changing much, it might be time to look at servicing your unit. 

  • Your unit is over ten years old.

Older units might be equipped with outdated R-22 refrigerant. Updating your system will not only save you money but also reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Uncommon Smells

If you're smelling something unusual coming from your vents, that could be a sign of mold, melting wiring, or dust build-up.  

  • Weird Sounds

Obviously, when you hear a car making an odd sound, you take it to a mechanic; The same goes for your HVAC unit. If you hear something rattling around in your ducts or your unit making odd noises, call your technician and get your system serviced.  

Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your System

Now that your system has been replaced or tuned-up, you should try your best to keep it that way. Have an HVAC technician teach you about your unit and how to maintain it. Here are some helpful tips to keep your system in tip-top shape.  

  • Get bi-yearly checks

Get your air conditioner checked in the spring to make sure it is ready for the coming summer months.

Get your heater checked in the fall to prepare for the cold winter months.

  • Change out your filters.

Units use a 30-day or 90-day filter and should not be forgotten about. When a filter gets dirty, it makes the system work harder to circulate air. If you live in an area with higher than average dust, you might need to change out the filters more frequently. 

  • Use a smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats will help your unit run more efficiently. Being able to control your home's temperature from an app will help you regulate and manage the efficiency of your unit.

Let the Experts Help

If you haven't had your furnace or ac solution serviced in a year or more, it is time to schedule an appointment with an experienced HVAC technician. If you live in the Madison, AL area, let the experts at Valley Heating and Cooling service your systems. A professional HVAC business can service all your units and perform preventative maintenance. Valley Heating and Cooling has a 20 point inspection as part of their preventative maintenance plan. Extend the life of your HVAC system and keep your home at a comfortable temperature and filled with clean and fresh air by keeping up-to-date with preventative maintenance and yearly HVAC services. 

Watch the video to learn more about HVAC maintenance.