What Are Some Ways to Extend the Life of an HVAC System?

an air conditioner sitting outside of a residential building

Your home’s HVAC system runs on a near-constant basis, which can cause quite a bit of wear and tear over time. Without proper maintenance, your HVAC components can easily wear out faster than they should, which is why properly caring for your furnace, AC unit, and ductwork is so important. 

With routine maintenance, you can prolong the life of your HVAC system and increase its efficiency, which will help cut down on your overall heating and cooling expenses. What do you need to do to extend the life of your HVAC system? Read on for our top seven tips.  

Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance With a Pro

The number one way to extend the life of your HVAC system is to give it the periodic maintenance it desperately needs. That’s why every homeowner should schedule two yearly HVAC checkups: one for the AC unit and one for the furnace. 

This checkup will allow an HVAC maintenance specialist to clean and care for your units and alert you to any potential problems that should be repaired. It’s probably the easiest thing you can do to keep your HVAC system in excellent functional condition throughout its life. 

Change Your Filters Frequently

Failing to change your filters on a regular schedule can tax your HVAC system and shave time off its life. Ideally, you should swap out your filters at 30 to 45 day intervals and perhaps more often if you have allergies or hairy pets. 

Set Your Fan to “Auto”

If your HVAC system has two fan settings (auto and on), it’s a good idea to keep the fan set to auto to cut down on unnecessary system wear and tear. When the fan is set to “on,” it must run constantly. While the on setting will allow the system to trap more airborne particles, it also forces your HVAC system to work much harder than it really needs to, which can reduce its lifespan. 

When you keep the fan on the auto setting, it will only run when your AC is actively cooling or your furnace is actively heating, which can really help extend your HVAC system’s life.  

Consider Using a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

The more often your HVAC system must run, the faster it will wear out. Luckily, with modern HVAC technology, you can program when your system turns on and how long it should run. You can even keep it off for a predetermined period of time while you’re away from the house. 

A smart thermostat will allow you full control over your heating and cooling, and some newer models even track your activity and self-adjust based on your habits. Some reports say using a programmable or smart thermostat can cut down your annual heating expenses by 10% and your cooling expenses by up to 15%. Aside from saving money, they can also help you prolong the life of your HVAC system. 

Periodically Clean Around Your AC Condenser

Since your air conditioner’s condenser unit is outside, it’s susceptible to damage during severe weather incidents. Many condenser units are also surrounded by greenery, which can interfere with their ability to function by limiting airflow around the unit. 

To extend the life of your AC unit, be sure to head outdoors and inspect around the condenser for signs of damage or excess plant life. Trim back bushes and weeds so they’re at least two to three feet from the unit to allow it plenty of room to breathe. 

Make Sure Your Insulation Is Adequate

If your home doesn’t have enough insulation currently, your HVAC system must run more often to maintain a constant indoor temperature. If you’ve noticed that your AC or furnace always seems to be on, it may be time to check out your attic insulation to see if it’s adequate. Otherwise, your system could wear out far faster than it should. 

Unsure how to assess that? Call a Carrollton HVAC maintenance pro for advice or check out the EPA’s insulation climate map for more info. You may need to get a professional energy audit to find out exactly where your insulation could use a boost. 

Give Your HVAC System Periodic Breaks

When it’s super warm outside, it can be tempting to keep your air-conditioning running 24/7, and while that might be necessary sometimes, doing it all the time isn’t ideal. When you force your HVAC system to run around the clock, it’ll experience wear and tear much more quickly than when it only runs periodically. That’s why giving your AC unit and furnace a break every now and then is a great way to extend their life. 

To keep yourself comfortable while letting your system rest, consider installing reflective shades or heat-blocking window tint to cut down on heat transfer through your window. Use ceiling fans for air circulation and, when it’s cooler outdoors in the evening, consider leaving your windows open for a little while to improve air quality and help control indoor temperature. 

Looking for an HVAC Maintenance and Repair Company In Carrollton/DFW?

If your HVAC system is having issues, and you’re not sure why, let our team at Metro Express Service help you out! Since 1987, we’ve proudly served North Texas residents with a wide variety of heating, air-conditioning, ductwork, and indoor air quality improvement services. Whether you’re in need of HVAC repair, heater or AC replacement, duct cleaning, or thermostat service, we’ve got you covered! To schedule service or learn more about how we can help you, feel free to call our Carrollton, TX HVAC office today at (972) 263-2500 or contact us online with any questions, and we’ll be in touch!