AN HVAC’s Lifespan

While parts of the country recently experienced ridiculous temperatures, we in New Jersey were spared the harsh weather and brutal fluctuations in services seen elsewhere. This bit of luck has kept homeowners from thinking too much about that HVAC system that’s been keeping homes warm and cozy this winter.

But winter isn’t over yet.

In case the weather turns on us, here are some things to think about regarding the lifespan of a home’s HVAC system.

Age is one factor. If your system is approaching the 12- or 15-year mark, it may be time to schedule Temp Control in the near future to inspect all the components of the system. It can be a comfort to know BEFORE the situation turns critical, whether or not you need some routine maintenance or if it’s time to upgrade to a new HVAC system.

Age, however, is not the only factor to think about when making decisions about an HVAC’s future. Another thing to consider is perspective from the auto industry. What about your HVAC’s life in terms of not the years–but the miles?

Some winters are brutally cold for longer periods, while some summers are equally long and hard, forcing the system to work overtime. When your older furnace or air conditioner has had to battle record-breaking temps on either end of the spectrum, that means it’s putting more stress on the moving parts and electronics. If your unit has experienced a few years of harsher than normal seasons—and climate change might just be doing that—then you need to think about how much overtime your system has endured.

Another, often forgotten contributor to an HVAC’s lifespan is how well the unit has been maintained over the years. Filter maintenance, again, is so important to a unit’s efficiency and its overall health. Filters that are filled with debris and/or not changed at regular intervals force all parts of the system to work too hard. This shortens its life span and, of course, reduces efficiency.

Something else that can hasten wear and tear is sand, dirt, insect accumulation, and other debris in the various parts of the system. The coils, condenser, electrical components are all susceptible to grime that builds up. This can erode wires, cause problems in moving parts and simply make the unit work harder.

If your HVAC has not been regularly serviced or inspected, all of these factors could be contributing to an early demise or some hefty repair bills in the case of extreme weather.

While we’ve been lucky in New Jersey so far, take a minute to poke around the HVAC. Look for a maintenance log that some companies attach to the unit. Check your invoices or whatever you can. If you’ve not been keeping up or the unit hasn’t been inspected in a while, call Temp Control to set up a maintenance schedule or at least a one-time inspection to avoid a catastrophic failure and a miserable end to winter.