How Much Life Can You Get Out Of Your Central Air System?

Everything ages, including your central heating and cooling equipment. Your system isn't getting any younger, but you're tempted to get as much use out of it as you possibly can. If you're wondering how far you can potentially push your central air system's lifespan, read on to find out.

Most Systems Last for Over a Decade

The lifespan of the average central air system depends on who you ask. Most experts estimate anywhere between 10 and 15 years of reliable, worry-free service for most systems before major problems are expected to develop. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates an even longer lifespan of 15 to 20 years for a typical central air unit. HVAC manufacturers may have their own lifespan estimates for their climate control equipment, depending on the type and size of unit along with its expected usage case.

A good rule to follow is to carefully keep an eye on your central air system once it hits the 10-year mark from the date of installation. If you're not sure of your central air system's exact age, have an HVAC technician check the date of manufacture for the unit. This way, you'll be prepared to replace your unit if it starts having major problems.

Good Care Can Help Some Systems Last Longer

Keep in mind that some central air systems can beat expectations when it comes to operating age. There are plenty of HVAC systems out there that have been running for 30 or even 40 years with no signs of stopping. However, these systems tend to be grossly inefficient and rather costly to operate when compared with their more modern counterparts.

Needless to say, many of these systems survive thanks to regularly scheduled maintenance and strict overall care. While it's possible to extend the life of your central air system through excellent care, it's no guarantee that a typical unit will last well beyond its average life expectancy.

Warranty and Operating Costs Can Shorten HVAC Lifespans

Ordinary wear and tear, environmental factors like rust and corrosion, and unexpected breakdowns aren't the only factors that can shorten a typical central air system's working life. Your system's warranty may also dictate when you'll finally replace your HVAC unit. Most HVAC system warranties are valid for 5 to 15 years from the date of installation. An extended warranty can add another 5 to 10 years of coverage.

Once your central air system loses its warranty coverage, you'll end up footing the bill for the parts and labor needed to repair your unit. In most cases, it's cheaper to switch out a central air system whose warranty coverage has run out for a brand-new unit with an equally brand-new warranty. Call a central air replacement service for more information.