The expected HVAC lifespan is important information whether you’re purchasing a new furnace or air conditioner or moving into a home where an existing system is already installed. System life expectancy isn’t written in stone — it varies according to a number of different factors that can either extend or reduce the HVAC lifespan.
Central air conditioners typically have a life expectancy averaging from 7 to 15 years. Gas-fired furnaces, on the other hand, can be expected to last 15 to 25 years before replacement is required. Here are some variables that can influence that lifespan:
Proper sizing. Installation of a new HVAC system should always include a load calculation performed by an HVAC contractor to accurately determine the BTU requirements necessary to cool or heat a specific house. This enables the contractor to select a furnace or A/C with the precise BTU capacity to do the job. Oversized or undersized HVAC systems have shorter lifespan as well as higher operating costs and sub-standard performance.
Neglected maintenance. A furnace or A/C should get annual preventive maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician at the outset of the heating or cooling season, respectively. This yearly procedure includes a checklist of manufacturer-recommended maintenance procedures that support maximum service life. Annual maintenance also keeps the system running at original energy efficiency specs as well as preventing malfunctions and breakdowns before they happen.
Secondary factors. Other conditions outside the HVAC system can affect system service life.
- Leaky ductwork, common in residences, causes the furnace or A/C to run overly long cycles to maintain indoor temperatures. This accelerates wear and tear and shortens system life expectancy. Ductwork should be inspected and pressure-tested. Your HVAC contractor can discuss options for sealing the ducts.
- Many houses are under-insulated by today’s higher standards. Insufficient insulation allows indoor heat to escape in winter and outdoor heat to infiltrate the house in summer. This overworks the HVAC system and results in early component failures and below-average service life. Upgrade attic insulation to meet current Department of Energy recommendations.
For professional service to maximize HVAC lifespan, contact Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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