The average lifespan of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning unit can range anywhere from 12 to 15 years. Most often, misuse and neglect are the top causes of a failing HVAC system. There are several things you can do at home in your own time to improve — and possibly exceed — the expected lifespan of your HVAC unit. Some of these ways include, but are not limited to: regular personal maintenance, yearly scheduled professional inspection and/or repairs, and improving the quality of air in your home.

At Home Maintenance

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Image via Flickr by CORGI HomePlan

This may sound like a daunting task, especially if you, like most of us, don’t know the first thing about an air conditioning unit. However, there is no extensive knowledge needed to perform these few simple tasks! The easiest and most beneficial way to help out your HVAC’s operating system is to make use of indoor fans. Using ceiling fans to help circulate air instead of your heating unit will save a considerable amount of energy. 

Every home is different, but as a general rule, your air filters should be replaced about every three months. Doing this removes the inevitable build-up of dust, allowing the air to flow more freely, and in turn, your operating system won’t have to work nearly as long or hard. You should also set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature; the more distance between the outside temperature and your desired temperature indoors, the harder and longer your system is going to run.

Professional Repairs and Service

If you are having a recurring problem with your heating and cooling system, you may want to think about calling in a professional. Scheduling regular professional maintenance once or twice a year can be incredibly beneficial; they may catch a problem early on and be able to repair it before it becomes an issue. A professional cleaning wouldn’t hurt every now and then either and will keep your HVAC running smoothly. Be sure to be aware of the sounds and noises your system makes. If you notice an odd sound it may be an indicator of a bigger problem and require expert maintenance.  

Air Quality

A great and inexpensive way to improve the air quality in your home is to keep a few indoor plants. Plants naturally purify the air and many are low-maintenance and don’t require much attention. Keeping a clutter-free environment will also improve the air flow in your home, which will in turn lessen the amount of time your HVAC system has to run. Make sure to keep air vents clear of any furniture, and be sure to keep things like laundry, toys, blankets, etc. from piling up near them. A regular dusting of ceiling fans, wall hangings, and other dusty places wouldn’t hurt either!

If you’re interested in trying to extend your HVAC system’s lifespan, there are several great inexpensive and conservative ways to do it. Some things may require a slight lifestyle change, but many are easy tasks that can be done by anyone in their home every few weeks or months.