How to Give Your HVAC Unit a Long Life
As a homeowner, there are many reasons you should care about extending HVAC life. For one, your HVAC unit works tirelessly, night and day, summer and winter, to ensure that your living areas are comfortable and climate-controlled—it’s only natural to want to treat it right in thanks for all its hard work. More seriously, prolonging your HVAC life will save you headaches and money in the long run.
If you live in the same home for long enough, you will almost certainly have to replace your HVAC unit. The average life span for an HVAC system is around 10 to 25 years, depending on how much you use it, how often you have it serviced for maintenance, and how you care for it. But replacing an HVAC system can be a real pain in the neck for any homeowner—and an equal pain in the wallet. Prolonging your HVAC life as much as possible before you need to replace it is a no-brainer. In this blog, we’ll examine how you can give your HVAC unit a long life.
Below are five tips for extending your HVAC life.
1. Regularly Inspect and Clean Your HVAC System
Imagine two different HVAC systems. The first has fans that only blow nice, clean air for the many years of its life span. The second has fans that constantly push around dust, specks of dirt, small pebbles, or even spider eggs or mouse droppings. Which of these two do you think will have a longer HVAC life? Obviously, the first one, right?
At the speed your HVAC equipment operates, even small irritants can wind up causing significant damage over a long period of time. For this reason, it’s important to regularly inspect your HVAC system: the main unit, ductwork, and any other parts.
If your budget allows it, it’s best to have these inspections done by licensed HVAC professionals, who know how to safely examine the complex workings of an HVAC unit and what to look for.
If your HVAC unit is in need of cleaning, be sure to have that done professionally too. Amateur cleaning jobs can damage equipment, and you don’t want that.
2. Change Your Air Filter and Clear Vents
An HVAC unit trying to intake air through clogged filters and ducts is like a marathon runner trying to breathe through a straw. Sure, it might be able to get the job done, but it will be so much more taxing than it would be otherwise.
For this reason, make sure that you’re regularly inspecting your air filter and replacing it once it gets too full of dust, dirt, and other gunk. This will make it much easier for your HVAC unit to take in all the air it needs to do its job.
Similarly, you’ll want to ensure that all the intake and output vents of your HVAC system are clear and unobstructed. Weeds growing around a unit’s condenser or boxes being piled up on the exterior of a vent can significantly impact performance and mean that the HVAC unit needs to work harder to have the same effect, reducing HVAC life span.
3. Use a Smart Thermostat to Improve Efficiency
Even if your ductwork and vents are unobstructed, your filter brand new, and everything working like a charm with your HVAC unit, wear and tear from normal operation is unavoidable. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your HVAC system is only working when it needs to be.
A smart thermostat can make this much more manageable. Not only can you control most smart thermostats from your tablet or smartphone, but they can also be programmed to learn your schedule and automatically save energy. Imagine a world where your smart thermostat learns when you get home from work and starts operating shortly before—so you arrive home to a nice climate-controlled home, but the HVAC hasn’t been running all day.
That’s just one example of the many ways a smart thermostat can improve heating and cooling efficiency in your home, and thus extend your HVAC life.
4. Install Proper Insulation
You don’t need to have a fancy smart thermostat to improve your home’s heating and cooling efficiency, however. One of the best ways you can make your home easier to heat or cool is simply to install proper installation.
Use caulk around doors and windows, add weather stripping that you check at least once a year. Use double-paned windows and thick curtains to prevent excess sun and minimize temperature leakage. Make sure your ductwork is insulated properly and isn’t leaking hot or cold air.
When you thoroughly insulate your home, you’ll reduce the amount of work your HVAC has to do. This helps you have a longer HVAC life.
5. Get a Professional HVAC Load Calculation When Purchasing a New Unit
Unfortunately, even the most well-maintained HVAC units will eventually succumb to the reality of wear and tear and will need to be replaced. When that happens, before you purchase a new HVAC unit, it’s always a good idea to have an HVAC load calculation performed by reliable, professional HVAC experts.
This will help you determine the size of the HVAC unit that’s optimal for your home. This is more important than you might realize. An HVAC unit that’s too small will struggle to fully heat or cool your home and will need to work much harder than a properly sized system. On the other hand, an HVAC unit that’s too powerful will use much more energy than you need and will likely need to shut off after only a short time operating, which can also increase wear on its components.
When you have a professional HVAC load calculation performed, you’ll know that your next HVAC unit will be the Goldilocks of AC units or furnaces: just right for your home. This will increase efficiency and extend HVAC life, meaning you won’t need to replace it for years to come.If you want to consult the experts on how to extend the life span of your HVAC unit, contact Entek today.