If you live in Richmond Hill, Ga, or the surrounding areas, you understand a crisp 40-degree winter day will have you reaching for the thermostat. However, with the tiniest touch of negligence, your HVAC system won’t respond to your temperature settings. To prevent your system from freezing up on you, be aware of the signs of a failing system and the factors that cause it.
Below, we’ll answer the popular question, “how long does a heating unit last?” and what you should do to keep your system running smoothly years past its average lifespan. We’ll also explain how to reach quality HVAC technicians in Richmond Hill from Georgia Air, who will lend a hand along the way.
How Long Does a Heating Unit Last?
The simple answer to “how long does a heating unit last?” is anywhere from 10 to 20 years, although maintenance checks, or the lack thereof, affect its lifespan. Before replacing or installing a new system, you should also consider system types carefully since lifespans differ depending on the unit’s equipment.
● Heat Pumps: These heating and cooling systems ring true to these numbers since they last between 10 to 15 years. With professional maintenance, they provide quality air for up to 20.
● Furnaces: With Grade A installation and annual maintenance checks, furnaces last slightly longer, ranging from 15 to 25 years.
● Tankless Water Heaters: These heaters immediately heat water that passes through the system and last 20 years on average. They’re also lower-maintenance since they only require servicing once every three years.
● Boilers: Boilers have a higher ranging lifespan between 20 and 35 years. While you should schedule annual maintenance checks, don’t worry if you notice an occasional dripping heat exchanger that needs changing.
● Thermostats: Thermostats, which sense your room temperature and dictate to your HVAC system your desired indoor climate, last 25 years.
● Ductless Mini-Splits: Like heat pumps, ductless mini-splits provide heating and cooling power but have a wider-ranging lifespan between 10 and 30 years.
● Air Conditioning Unit: If you’re looking for cooling ability alone, air conditioners last up to 15 years, matching the lifespan of heat pumps and furnaces.
What Factors Cause a System to Fail?
Now that we’ve answered, “how long does a heating unit last?” let’s discuss factors that affect your system negatively and what you should do to absolve these concerns.
When installing an HVAC system, your technician should measure the square footage of your home or individual room. After doing so, they will determine the best-sized system for adequate heating and cooling.
If an inexperienced technician installs an undersized unit, your system will not have a decent output rate and will end up working harder to meet your desired temperature. Not only will your rooms remain uncomfortable with outdoor air, but the system will overheat. Premature wear and tear will end up shortening its life expectancy.
Similarly, an oversized unit will have a shorter lifespan due to short cycling. Since the unit is larger, it will heat or cool your home in less time but will frequently turn on and off, unable to complete a full cycle. Not only will this inconsistency create warm and cool spots in your home, but it’ll cause your blower motor or compressor to fail and your system to break down.
HVAC systems also work well when you use them correctly. Unfortunately, many residents who ask, “how long does a heating unit last?” tend to leave their doors open for extended periods or forget to close all their windows before turning on their unit. Like undersized systems, even an adequately sized one will work overtime to make up for the quality air seeping out of the rooms.
For instance, if you have central air, up to 50% or more of your quality air can escape through small leaks around your home or cracks in your air ducts, leading your system to work harder and your utility bill to rise.
Residents typically tend to skip their strongly urged semi-annual or annual maintenance checks. For most, it’s an added expense that they can’t afford. For others, it’s unnecessary since nothing is visibly wrong with their system.
If you’re one of the many who believe regular maintenance is optional, you’ll notice many of the key indicators in the next section reflected in your system. That’s because professional maintenance keeps your system in check and running for as long as possible. Without them, your system can break down faster than expected.
Many parts of your HVAC unit can fail long before you notice anything strange. If you refuse to call a professional like the ones at Georgia Air Cooling and Heating to catch these minor problems, they’ll turn into larger ones. In turn, they’ll become more costly, jeopardizing the functioning ability of your system.
Properly maintaining your system also requires you to do your part at home by changing or cleaning your unit’s filters once every few months. If you have pets or live in an area with poor air quality, such as a farm with a lot of dander or a congested city with consistent smog, change them out once a month instead. Doing so will clear away dust and other pollutants that stick in your filters and restrict airflow.
What Are The Key Indicators of a Failing System?
The question “how can I tell when my system is failing?” goes hand in hand with “how long does a heating unit last?” That’s because noticing the signs of damaged or aging components and treating them accordingly will keep your system lasting longer. Below are some of the most noticeable key indicators of a failing system you shouldn’t take lightly.
High Utility Bills
As we’ve mentioned before, if your system produces more air than it should, it’s burning more energy and increasing your utility bills. That usually occurs when residents leave doors or windows open or have cracks or holes around their homes for quality air to escape through. It also happens when your system is not a proper size for your home or if there’s a clog in your filters, keeping quality air from filtering out.
In these cases, call a professional team like the one at Georgia Air Cooling and Heating. Our experienced team will conduct a full maintenance check to determine the root cause of your larger bills. We’ll fix imperfections in your household vents and clean your unit thoroughly of pollutants as a start.
If you have an air conditioner, a slight humming sound is understandable. If you have a furnace or a boiler, a light popping sound as a cycle starts up or the sound of rushing water through the pipes, respectively, is also no cause for concern.
Each cooling or heating air equipment makes natural sounds that show the system is doing its job. However, if you hear a consistent rattling, whistling, banging, rattling, or loud vibration, it’s time to consider repairs and replacements in Georgia. These noises can mean anything, including the following:
● A loose or broken part such as a loose bearing, a broken outdoor fan, or a fractured component within the blower or compressor
● Lodged debris rattling inside the system
● Your system’s working harder to produce air with clogged filters
● Your system is reaching the end of its lifespan, no longer able to function to its fullest potential
● Lubrication is needed, especially in the motor and around other moving parts, for smoother motion
Reaching the End of Its Lifespan
If your system is reaching the end of its life expectancy, which usually happens at the ten-year mark without annual maintenance, you’ll notice irreversible concerns with your system. For one thing, your HVAC unit won’t perform like it used to. If this occurs, you won’t feel as much relief from the chilly Georgia winters or sizzling summer highs, and your house may have cool and warm spots.
On top of the discomfort, you’ll spend loads on constant repairs and replacement parts annually. If breakdowns are frequent, repairs will cost you more than a new unit in the long run. In this case, it’s best to purchase a new unit, which will also be more efficient and less energy-consuming with evolving technology.
You can tell when your system is old if it still runs on R22 Freon. Since the US discontinued this product at the beginning of 2020 for being an environmental hazard, it’s in rare supply and, therefore, expensive. Consider purchasing a newer model that doesn’t require R22 for added savings.
Count on the Georgia Pros for an Installation or Replacement Today
If you need assistance with anything, from air conditioning to furnace repair services from Georgia Air, our certified and highly-educated technicians are there for your Georgia home. Every revived or professionally installed unit strengthens our name, and we take pride in each job well done.
For more on “how long does a heating unit last?” or to learn how we at Georgia Air Cooling and Heating can enhance your system’s functionality, call 912-513-3741 today!