What is the average life expectancy of an HVAC system?

Posted on: May 15, 2015

air conditioner repair

As we transition from one season to the next and switch from using the heater to running the AC, homeowners sometimes wonder if they would be better off repairing or replacing an aging heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Having a well-functioning system that you can depend on is important for keeping your family safe and comfortable during all weather conditions. If you didn't install the system yourself, you may not know how well the previous owner took care of the equipment, which is a major factor in how long it will last.

When it comes to budgeting, homeowners also need to know what the average life expectancy of an HVAC system is. Keep in mind that no two systems are alike, even if they use the same equipment. There are variables such as how well trained the installer was, whether the HVAC system was properly sized for the house it's installed in, how clean the ducts are and whether there is insulation to help the equipment run as efficiently as possible.

With those caveats in mind, the average life expectancy of a central air conditioner ranges from 15 to 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can expect similar results from your furnace. A properly installed furnace that technicians have maintained on a regular basis should last approximately 20 years, according to Frigidaire.

Remember that the longevity of your HVAC system will depend to some degree on whether you arranged to have it inspected, cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

Maintenance and Cleaning

You can do some of the cleaning yourself, if you prefer. It's a good idea to remove twigs, leaves and other debris from the condensing unit outside on a periodic basis. Your HVAC repair team should come to the premises at least once per year to inspect the equipment and make sure it is running properly, cleaning the rest of the system for you.

The technician will do maintenance and conduct tests to see how efficiently the system is running. If you have someone checking on the HVAC equipment periodically, you can avoid small problems becoming big headaches that will require repairs or replacement.

Schedule maintenance and cleaning appointments far in advance to make sure you don't forget to do so before the weather gets too hot or cold. With so many homeowners trying to make last-minute appointments around the same time during winter and summer, you'll be glad you've already made arrangements before the crew's schedule gets completely filled.

Repair or Replacement

When a technician finds that your HVAC system needs repairs, you'll need to check your budget to see if it would be better to have it fixed or just have it replaced.

If the system is a decade or more old, you will want to consider outright replacement, because the latest models are much more energy efficient. Spending money on a new system now means that you will start saving more money on your utility bills.

Since you know that your HVAC system has a limited shelf life, the older it is, the more practical it becomes to swap it out for a new one rather than repairing it. Your HVAC technician will be happy to advise you on which option will be best to meet your family's particular needs.

The professionally trained technicians at David Gray Heating & Air have been assisting homeowners with their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the greater Jacksonville, Florida region and beyond. From performing regular inspections, maintenance and cleaning to troubleshooting problems and helping customers determine when it's best to replace an aging HVAC system, we offer fast and friendly service. For details on your HVAC options or to schedule an appointment, please contact David Gray Heating & Air today.

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