According to industry information, most home heating and air conditioning components have an average lifespan of 15 to 25 years, with most furnaces capable of lasting 15 to 20 years. Since replacing the components of the average home HVAC system is a significant expense, homeowners often want to postpone having to do this type of home maintenance project for as long as possible.
If you are one of these homeowners, here are some easy, low-cost steps you can take now to help keep your current HVAC system functioning efficiently for as long as possible.
Change the Filter Frequently
Frequent filter changes are one of the most important ways to increase the lifespan and the efficiency of the average furnace. But to get even more benefits from this periodic maintenance task, homeowners should consider changing their furnace’s filter even more often than suggested by the manufacturer.
More frequent changes should always be considered when conditions in the home are dustier than usual. This is often the case during a home repair or renovation project. Furnaces also work have to work harder during periods of extreme cold, when the temperatures stay below freezing for long periods of time.
In order to make more frequent filter changes possible without incurring additional costs, homeowners who have not already switched to reusable filters should do so. When purchasing reusable filters, buy two instead of one. This will allow you to quickly remove the dirty filter and replace it with a clean one. The dirty filter can then be cleaned, dried, and stored alongside the furnace so that a clean filter is always ready and waiting.
Look for Ways to Reduce the Load on the Furnace
Another way to help an aging furnace stay functional longer is to reduce its work load. A good way for homeowners to do this is to spend a few days observing when the furnace kicks on and why.
Poor habits on the part of the occupants, such as making frequent adjustments to the thermostat or forgetting to close doors properly, can force the furnace to kick on more frequently and stay on longer. Other common causes can include:
- Leaks and drafts around windows and doors
- Humidity issues in the home
- Insufficient insulation in some areas of the home
- Blocked vents or ducts that inhibit proper air flow
Homeowners who can find a way to address some or all of these issues can help to extend the lifespan of their current furnace and enjoy a more comfortable home.
Have the Furnace Serviced Regularly
Homeowners who take the initiative to have their aging furnaces professionally cleaned and serviced on a regular basis are taking proactive steps to prolong their life and improve its efficiency.
During a professional maintenance visit, HVAC technicians will look for signs of wear or damage on belts, bearings, electrical switches, and other furnace parts and components. Since both wear and damage can force the system to work harder, doing necessary repairs and maintenance on a regular basis will help to prevent excessive wear issues and reduce the risk of an emergency furnace failure during the heating season.
In addition to checking for excessive wear on parts and components, a professional HVAC maintenance visit will also include cleaning the interior of the furnace cabinet to remove harmful dust and dirt.
If the furnace is fueled by natural gas or propane, the technician will also check and adjust the gas burner to make sure that it is using fuel as efficiently as possible and make sure there are no leaks in pipes and connections.
For more information on prolonging the life of your aging furnace, as well as how to recognize when replacement is the better option, contact the HVAC professionals at HELP Heating, Cooling, Electric, & Plumbing.