For homeowners in the Tampa, FL area, HVAC is one of the most expensive systems to replace. Many people contact Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar to find out if their heating and cooling systems need to be changed out sooner rather than later. Modern HVAC systems are designed to last, but there are some factors that affect the lifetime of the system and its components.
Average Life Span of an HVAC System
Modern heating and cooling systems are designed to last 15 to 20 years. The life span is slightly different for air conditioners that tend to last an average of 12 to 15 years. On average, a heat pump will last for about 16 years, and a furnace may last between 15 and 20 years. The best way to determine the lifetime of your specific HVAC system is to find the average of all the larger components.
How Is the Lifetime of an HVAC System Determined?
It’s important to understand that the manufacturer determines the life expectancy of the product. This is assessed by testing the system in a controlled environment, so your heating and cooling system may last longer, or it may need to be replaced sooner than expected. When we discuss your HVAC system, we are referring to the parts of the system that carry the majority of the load for heating and cooling.
What Affects the Life Span of an HVAC System?
Utilization is the primary factor that affects the life expectancy of an HVAC system in Tampa homes. Because we experience extremely hot and humid summers, your HVAC system runs almost every day during the hottest part of the year. According to the manufacturer, this equates to higher-than-normal use, which may decrease the length of time your equipment will endure. How well you maintain the system also determines how long it will function. Having routine maintenance performed during fall and during spring is what we usually advise. Humidity is another issue that can shorten the life span of your HVAC system. Moisture inside the system causes the components to break down sooner than expected.
Proper Sizing Is Key to a Good HVAC Life Span
Heating and cooling systems need to be properly sized for a home in order for the equipment to reach its full life expectancy. A system that is too small has to work harder, and this results in the components constantly breaking down. On the other hand, when it comes to HVAC systems, bigger isn’t always better. If your HVAC system has a larger capacity than what is needed to heat and cool your home, the excess power may damage components. It will shut off prematurely, resume, and continue that cycle repeatedly.
Other Factors That Affect the Lifetime of Your HVAC System
Several other factors determine where your specific system will fall within the average life span of a heating and cooling system.
- Daily use habits
- Routine maintenance and repairs
- Ambient climatic conditions
- Insulation in your home
- Drafts around doors and windows
Signs That Your HVAC System Needs to Be Replaced
Fortunately, there are some signs that your HVAC system needs attention. You won’t necessarily have to face a breakdown without any warning. If you notice any of these issues, contact us at Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar right away to schedule an appointment.
- Noises, such as rattles, squealing, and thumping
- Odors, such as a smell of burned plastic
- Increases in energy bills
- High dust levels in your home
- Uneven temperatures
- Visible signs of damage on the unit, such as broken bolts and frayed wiring
How to Make Your HVAC System Last Longer
In addition to routine maintenance, there are some steps that we recommend for homes in the Tampa area to make HVAC equipment last as long as possible. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your home’s insulation inspected, hire a professional. It might be time to replace it, which can help with temperature control, thus putting less strain on your HVAC system. Double-check your doors and windows, too, for any gaps that need sealing. Conditioned air can easily leak out, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to get to the temperature you’ve set.
In addition, make sure to change your air filter regularly, at least every 90 days. It should really be checked once a month. Clogged air filters force air conditioners to strain to make up for the loss in airflow. On a similar note, keep the air conditioning system’s vents open, including the return vent, to allow for better airflow.
If you can’t replace your insulation or your windows let in a lot of heat, you may want to invest in heavy drapes or light-blocking curtains. Hanging them on the windows that let in the most sunlight can make a significant difference in the amount of heat in your home, and when the temperature inside doesn’t get as high, your AC won’t have to work so hard to keep things cool.
Upgrading your thermostat is also a good idea. Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature remotely, which means that you don’t have to worry as much if you forget to change the settings before you head out for the day. They can also learn your schedule and what works best for the air conditioner to adjust settings on the fly, helping you save energy and extend your HVAC system’s life span. Above all, have your HVAC system serviced regularly.
How Does Annual Maintenance Extend the Lifetime of Your HVAC System?
As with any type of machinery, your HVAC system needs routine maintenance to run efficiently. The more efficiently it operates, the longer the system will last. Annual maintenance from the professionals at Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar gives Tampa homeowners peace of mind from knowing that their heating and cooling systems are in good shape. We recommend that you have your heating and cooling system serviced in the spring and fall. Maintenance improves the lifetime of your HVAC system by doing the following:
- Identifying parts that need to be replaced
- Addressing issues that put strain on your system
- Removing dust and debris that hinders efficient operation
- Testing the system to ensure the safety mechanisms function
- Lubricating moving parts and tightening electrical connections
Though AC life span can differ from one device to another depending on a variety of factors, eventually, it’ll be time to replace the unit. During a maintenance appointment, your technician will evaluate your HVAC system and let you know if you’re coming up on that point. As a general rule, though, if you find yourself calling a repairman repeatedly and sinking money into an older air conditioner, it’s probably time to get a new one.
Professional Heating and Cooling Services
Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar offers expert heating, cooling, and indoor air quality installation, repair, and maintenance for homeowners in Brandon and the Greater Tampa area. Our technicians can help you decide if it’s time to replace your heating and cooling equipment. In addition to that, we offer precise and efficient roofing services. You can rely on us for quality work at fair prices. If your HVAC system needs a tune-up or a general assessment, give us a call today.