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How long should my old furnace and air conditioner last?

how long do units last

You’re wondering about the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. You want to make the right decision when it comes time to replace and you want to know how long you have until replacement is imminent. Smart homeowner! In general, you can expect around 12 years of life from your HVAC system. For some, this can extend toward the upper teens and for others, 10 years is the magic number. The answer to this question often depends on a few key elements of your HVAC system:

The specific equipment you have:
Home builders often use lower grade “builder models” offered by otherwise well-known manufacturers (including Trane, Rheem/Ruud, and Lennox). Builders’ models may not last much more than 8 to 12 years, whereas premium models from these companies will typically last much longer. If you believe you may have a builders’ model, you may want to consider taking advantage of rebates and warranties offered with a new systems once your equipment is 10 or 12 years old. Oftentimes, utility bill and repair savings alone will more than offset the cost of a new high-efficiency system.

How well your system was installed:
All installations are not equal in quality and fit for your home. Less experienced or unlicensed contractors or technicians may have installed your system without sizing it appropriately for your home, without considering the smartest architecture for your ductwork, or otherwise inadequately. If so, your system cannot perform at its best and will deteriorate more quickly. For example, systems left with even small amounts of water vapor in the refrigerant lines or ones that have too little return air flow will often have serious malfunctions before they’re even five years old.

How well your system has been maintained:
Regular professional maintenance is an important factor, too. Even lower quality equipment that has been frequently serviced and maintained can last 20 years or longer. Many times the proud owners of such equipment will decide to replace the equipment in order to obtain equipment that offers improved efficiency or new features, not because the equipment is failing. Because of our extreme Central Texas weather, premium equipment that has not been maintained will typically last between 12-18 years. However, because of efficiency improvements that are continually made by manufacturers, once a system is 10 years old it may pay to replace the system because of the higher efficiency (and lower gas & electric bills) and rebates available for newer equipment.

Some wear and tear on your system or components is completely natural. If your system is hitting the 10-year mark or older, you are probably in the phase of consideration for replacement. During your routine maintenance, your technician can also let you know how your system is faring toward the later part of its life. Further, we can make recommendations as to the future replacement needs you may have and how best to move forward on such a major decision.

To schedule your routine maintenance or to consult with us about the replacement of your existing system or system components, please contact the experts at McCullough. We are available to help you make informed decisions, acquire exclusive deals and rebates, and feel confident in your major home appliance purchase.

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