7 Tips That Will Make Your HVAC Last Longer
An HVAC system is operational year-round. The average lifespan of these systems is about 12 – 15 years with furnaces lasting about 20. System replacement is inevitable if you stay in a place for a long time. Unfortunately, replacing an HVAC system is a significant cost. However, there are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your equipment.
1. Two Tune Ups Every Year
HVAC systems are not really high maintenance. However, this doesn’t mean that routine maintenance is not important. You should inspect, clean, and tune your furnace and air conditioner at least twice a year. It is best to schedule the furnace service in early fall or late summer and the air conditioner in spring. This way your system will work the way it is supposed to.
Tune-ups include a thorough lubrication and inspection of all moving components, clearing of condensate drain tube, condenser cleaning, replacing filters, checking refrigerant levels, and checking heat exchanger for wear and tear.
2. Changing the Filter Regularly
The task of checking air filters is up to the homeowner even though the HVAC technician will check it during the tune-up visits. Generally, 3-month pleated filters or 30-day fiberglass filters are used. These need to be checked on a regular basis. They should be replaced when they get dirty. An HVAC system needs to work harder with dirty air filters which can be taxing on the fan.
3. Make Use of ‘Auto’
There are two fan settings in most HVAC systems – auto and on. Auto instructs the fan to run when the system is actively cooling or heating. On mode makes the fan run constantly. There are dual-speed fans in certain systems allowing for energy efficient and slower fan setting between cooling and heating cycles.
4. Take a Look at the Condenser
There is a condensing unit somewhere outside your home that is built to stand up to the elements. However, this condenser can quickly become damaged by windblown debris and hail from severe storms. Look over the condenser every once in a while, to check for signs of damage. Make sure to clear accumulation of leaves and weeds around the condenser while you are at it. Cut down vegetation if it is growing right next to the condenser.
5. Upgrade the Insulation
Your HVAC system will last longer if it runs for less periods of time. Insulation is the key to keeping treated air within the home. Your attic is the most important place to check for insufficient insulation. You can always look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s insulation climate map for guidelines on upgrades. It may be worthwhile to add more insulation or insulate your basement if you have insufficient insulation in your home.
6. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are the latest in thermostat technology and are easy to control and program from anywhere. In fact, certain models are intuitive and learn habits to automatically schedule without any programming. You can use your system less when you micromanage the thermostat settings.
7. Other Steps
You can always give your system a break by using ceiling fans. You should consider investing in reflective shades as well for blocking out unwanted heat in your Bay Area home, business, or department.