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Maximize the Lifespan of your HVAC

By: Mike Thomas

It happens every summer. The temperatures soar and HVAC repair companies get loads of calls from homeowners who are having problems. Their air is not working and the home is unbearably hot. The same thing happens in the winter. The HVAC system is not working properly and the home is cold. Many of these problems could be avoided. Your HVAC system can last for years if the right maintenance is followed. It will also save you money because you will not have to call the repairman as often.

What are Some Common Problems?

Here are some common complaints that repairmen receive from homeowners.

  • The air is hot when the system is on cool or it is cool when the heat is on
  • The compressor or fan is not coming on
  • The unit is leaking
  • The unit is freezing up
  • The unit is making strange noises
  • The unit never reaches the set temperature

These are just some of the problems reported. There are many others and following a few simple steps can make a difference.

How to Avoid these Problems

One of the most important ways to avoid problems is to have a yearly maintenance checkup. Your HVAC system will last far longer before it needs replacing. In addition, you will save money because you will not need repairs as often.

Another way to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system is to install an energy-saving thermostat. When no one is in the home, the temperature does not need to be as cool or warm. It only takes a few minutes to reach the desired temperature when you come home.

Change your filters. This cannot be emphasized enough. Dirty or clogged filters make the system work harder. Therefore, it can cause problems and shorten the lifespan of your system. Generally changing the filters once a month is a good idea. You may need to change them more often when the system is being used more than normal. When the filters are not changed as needed, dirt and dust can get into the system. This can cause mechanical problems, which are expensive to fix.

Airflow problems, such as leaking ducts and blocked registers reduce the air flow. This will make your air handler worker harder, putting increased stress on the unit. Anytime your HVAC works harder than it needs to, it lessens the lifespan of the system.

Leaks in your home around windows and doors can have the same effect. They allow hot air in during the summer and cold air in the winter. This makes your system work harder and shortens the lifespan. Many utility companies will perform a free check to see if outside air is leaking into the home.

Is your home well insulated? This is another aspect that can result in your HVAC system running more than it needs to run. One of the main reasons people end up replacing their systems is because it is worn out. This is because it consistently works harder than it need to work. Make certain the R value of the insulation being used is correct for your area.

Follow these simple steps to make certain your HVAC system is running efficiently. If you do so, you will not need to call a repairman as often. In addition, you will be increasing the lifespan of your system.


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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

Home protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations including repairs or replacements of covered home system components and appliances. See contract for details.