Understanding the average life expectancy of an HVAC system can assist with making important decisions. For example, if an air conditioning compressor with more than 25 years of use breaks down, by knowing the average life expectancy of the unit, you know it’s smarter to perform a replacement rather than a repair. Most HVAC units last 10 to 25 years, and several factors influence their total lifespan.

What Is the Average Life Expectancy of an HVAC System?

Many of today’s modern HVAC systems have a lifespan of around 20 years. This means once your AC reached 12 years of use, it has definitely reached its mid-life point and will no longer operate with optimum efficiency; this doesn’t always mean, though, that the unit should be replaced when operational issues arise.

If, however, your goal is to use a system that saves on energy, then replacing it with a more efficient and upgraded model is the correct choice. Why? Because a new system can save anywhere from 20-40% on energy bills.

Even though the usual HVAC system lifespan is somewhere between the range of 10 to 25 years, improper insulation and uncontrolled air flow can result in a system lasting for only five to 15 years. This is especially applicable in homes with multiple unsealed air leaks. 

Unsealed air leaks wreak havoc on an HVAC system because they make the unit work much harder than it would normally have to. There are several ways to seal unwanted air leaks, such as by caulking and weather stripping the home.

When to Replace an HVAC System

There’s a fine line between knowing when to repair an HVAC system and when to replace it. A lot of people end up replacing an entire system, costing them thousands of dollars, when a simple hundred-dollar repair would suffice and ensure the system operates well for another decade. This is why it’s pertinent to know the signs to look for when deciding whether to repair or replace an air conditioner or heater.

An aging system serves as the first and most important indicator of needing to replace an HVAC unit. Any time a system operates for more than 10 years, the likelihood you’ll need to replace your unit soon increases.

It’s also important to assess each room for climate control to help decide whether to repair or replace an HVAC unit. A quality HVAC unit will have the power and ability to cool and heat your entire house without issue. If it can’t achieve this goal, you should replace it.

Not all strange noises coming from an HVAC system should result in concern. Certain ones, however, should catch your attention as they can indicate it’s time to replace a unit rather than repair one.

Squealing along with squeaking and rattling can indicate major repairs should get performed. A rattling that won’t stop signifies a loose piece of equipment. If not addressed in a timely manner, it will eventually translate into having to replace the entire unit. This is why it’s so important to let an HVAC professional inspect your system when you hear strange noises.

How to Extend the Life of an HVAC System

The following helpful tips can extend the life of an HVAC system by anywhere from five to 10 years. Any professional HVAC contractor will inform you that maintenance is key to getting the most out of an HVAC system. This is particularly true of mini-split systems and commercial units.

To keep your HVAC unit operating with optimal efficiency, follow these seven tips:

  • Follow a regular maintenance schedule: Having a system regularly maintained by a professional helps avoid costly repairs in the future and keeps the system running in optimal condition.
  • Change the filter regularly: Changing the filter once every 30 to 60 days helps the unit from having to overwork itself to heat and cool your home.
  • Clean your home frequently: The cleaner you keep your home, the less dust and dirt there will be to cause damage to the system.
  • Upgrade your thermostat: With a modern thermostat, it becomes possible to efficiently heat and cool a home according to a customized schedule.
  • Use the AUTO and ECO modes: When operating in AUTO or ECO mode, the HVAC system can meet temperature preferences with the utmost efficiency.
  • Keep the condenser clean: The condenser is the part of the unit that sits outside of the house, and keeping it clear of debris (such as tree limbs and branches) will help ensure it can circulate air correctly to keep it from overheating.
  • Seal air leaks: The more air leaks that a home has, the harder the HVAC unit has to work, so sealing air leaks becomes essential to extending the lifespan of the system.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional HVAC Company

You can take all the precautions in the world to keep your system working as long as possible, but there will come a day that the system needs to be replaced. Whether you need to install a new system or repair the one you currently have, hiring a professional HVAC company comes with multiple advantages.

Keep reading to learn about four of the top reasons to hire a professional HVAC company.

Conserves Energy

An HVAC contractor can perform regular maintenance to ensure the unit operates at its highest level of efficiency. As it heats and cools your home with such efficiency, it can deliver enhanced comfort without having to overwork itself or run your utility bills through the roof.

Improves Air Quality

HVAC systems play a pivotal role in the air quality that a house can maintain. The more dust and dirt that the system can properly filter, the cleaner the air you breathe inside the house. This can greatly improve symptoms for those with asthma, allergies, and skin sensitivities.

Makes Your System Last Longer

If your goal is to extend the life of your HVAC system, then you should definitely have it installed and regularly maintained by a professional HVAC company. Professional companies employ skilled technicians who know the ins and outs of HVAC installation and repair issues.

You Can Enjoy a Safe System

Various types of electrical equipment require certain types of supplies and tools during installation and maintenance tasks. Without the proper supplies, you end up with a system that can be hazardous to your health and family. All it takes is one incorrectly installed wire to spark an HVAC system into a fire. With an experienced professional in your corner when performing installation and maintenance, you can rest assured knowing the system was installed safely.

The Takeaway

Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling provides a wide range of heating and cooling services to West Michigan and the surrounding areas. Whether you need a new air conditioner or simply want to check out some of the latest air quality products on the market, Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling is ready to assist with all of your HVAC needs. We strive to provide each customer with an excellent and unique experience.

Most importantly, Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling is here to improve your comfort with elite heating and cooling services that help you get the most years out of your HVAC system. In addition to heater and air conditioner installation, repair, and maintenance services, we also provide air quality, mini-split, geothermal, commercial HVAC, and energy audits services.

Contact Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling in West Michigan now to learn more about various ways we can help make your HVAC system last longer.

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