It’s easy to take your HVAC system for granted. Whether it is providing you with cold air in the summer or warm air in the winter, your HVAC equipment does its job in the background. Of course, no piece of equipment lasts forever, so your HVAC gear is gradually aging as it works, and you might suddenly find yourself with an old HVAC system that doesn’t perform as it once did.
But how do you know if your HVAC system is old? Without any experience in this industry, you may not spot the warning signs of an aging system – until it’s too late and you are dealing with a breakdown. In this post, we’d like to help you determine if your HVAC system is old and what actions to take if that is the case. For direct help from our team, feel free to get in touch with Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric at your convenience.
How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?
Before running numbers, it’s important to say this – the lifespan of an HVAC system can vary wildly from one home to the next. There is no set amount of time you can be sure your system will last, due simply to the unpredictable nature of mechanical equipment and how it will perform and age.
With that said, somewhere between 15 – 25 years is a common lifespan for various pieces of HVAC equipment. If your system is approaching this range, or if it has already surpassed this range, you should start to think about what will come next. Some climate conditions, like proximity to salt water, can cause systems to degrade faster, but fortunately, our conditions in the Metroplex area are relatively gentle on machinery.
As a general rule of thumb, pay close attention to your HVAC system once it crosses the decade mark. That’s not to say you will need to replace it right away – it could easily last another decade or more – but it’s smart to pay attention to how it is performing and how much maintenance you are performing. As repairs become more frequent, and more expensive, your thoughts might shift toward installing new gear.
Signs of an Aging System
More than just looking at the calendar, you can also watch for indications that your HVAC system is not working as well as it once did. If you start to see some of the signs below popping up with regularity, bringing in Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric to take a closer look may be warranted.
- Increased costs. Pay attention to your energy bill to make sure costs aren’t rising without an explanation. If you find you are paying more for energy each month, and the rates in your area haven’t increased, it may be that your system is becoming less efficient.
- Lacking performance. Are you struggling to get your home down to a comfortable temperature in the summer, or up to a comfortable temperature in the winter? This is another sign your system is aging and no longer working well.
- Noisy operation. Over time, you get used to the sounds your HVAC system makes while it is running. If you notice suddenly the system is making new and unusual noises, even if it seems to work okay, that could be a sign you’ll need to deal with some maintenance or repair matters in the near future.
When to Make a Switch
It’s never an easy call to figure out when you should give up on your old system and have it replaced with a new one. Most homeowners put this off for as long as possible because of the cost of the project, but that cost can be offset by some savings you’ll enjoy moving forward. For one thing, you should find your new system runs more efficiently, helping to bring down your utility bill. And, if you regularly spend money on HVAC repairs to keep the old system running, you will eliminate that ongoing cost, as well. Pay attention to how much you spend to make your current system work and upgrade to new equipment when those costs just get to be too much to justify.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your HVAC system will last forever – because it won’t. Even the best equipment is going to gradually decline in performance as it ages, and eventually, it will have to be replaced. Whether you need maintenance performed on an aging system or you want to have a whole new system installed, Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric should be your first call. Get in touch today to get started!