An HVAC system is a large investment and an essential part of any home, especially in Austin, TX. It regulates temperature, improves air quality, and helps maintain a comfortable living environment for your family. Like any other system, it requires maintenance and care to ensure longevity. In Austin, air conditioning units last about 10 to 15 years, if properly maintained. With regular care, your HVAC system will have a higher chance of making it to the end of its estimated lifespan.
Short on time or prefer video? Check out these short clips to watch Price, one of our HVAC technicians, explain how we do HVAC maintenance at Stan's!
Your HVAC system puts in a lot of hours to ensure that your home is comfortable. In Austin, most homeowners run their HVAC system about 3,000 hours per year. Keep reading to learn how you can get the most out of your HVAC system, and keep it running efficiently as many years as possible.
One of the best ways to extend the life of your HVAC system is to schedule maintenance twice each year. Regular maintenance helps ensure system efficiency, maintain warranties, and catch potential breakdowns before they happen. When your system is operating at peak efficiency, you should also save on monthly energy bills. We recommend scheduling maintenance in the Spring to check your air conditioning system, and in the Fall to check your heating system. Maintenance involves a thorough inspection of the unit, along with testing various components, cleaning the air handler and condenser, and flushing all drain pans and lines.
When air filters are not changed regularly, the unit has to work even harder to push air through. The more strain you put on your HVAC system, the shorter the lifespan may be. There are a variety of filters used in homes, and each has a different lifespan. Disposable one-inch filters typically need to be changed out every 1 to 3 months. Media filters can generally make it 6 to 12 months before needing to be replaced. Conditions inside the home can greatly shorten the life of a filter, so it is best to check the filters regularly and change as needed. Not only will clean filters allow air to flow more easily, but they also improve the air quality in your home.
Dirty condenser coils outside can prevent air flow through the coils and negatively impact the efficiency of the system. This causes extra wear and tear on the condenser unit. Flushing the drains will prevent water back up and possible overflow. Keeping the lines clear will prevent possible damage to the home in the event of a backup. If you schedule routine maintenance through Stan’s both of these tasks will be taken care of for you. However, if you have not had maintenance done in the last 6 months, these are two things you will want to do promptly.
Poor ductwork condition can lead to air leaks and inefficient cooling or heating in your home. When there is inefficient cooling or heating in the home, the system has to run longer to make the home comfortable. The excess usage puts additional wear and tear on the system. We recommend having your ductwork inspected by an HVAC professional for leaks. Good duct work is an essential part of efficient cooling and heating.
Leaks around doors and windows, along with a home that is not well insulated, can cause your HVAC system to work even harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The increased usage will decrease the overall lifespan in the long run. If you can see light coming through any of the sides or corners of your exterior doors, consider adding weather stripping to create a better seal. Also, check the caulking around your windows to make sure there are not any leaks. Most newer homes are up to code on insulation, but if you live in an older home, you may want to consider adding extra insulation to help keep your home at a consistent temperature and take some of the strain off the HVAC system.
Even with proper care, HVAC systems will not last forever and will need to be replaced eventually. It can be difficult to know when it’s time to move forward with replacement. If you wait until the unit completely fails and is beyond repair, you may be left without air conditioning or heat for a few days and you may not be able to take advantage of special deals and promotions. This is why many people like to plan ahead and be as prepared as they can for an HVAC system replacement. Here are a few signs that you may want to start considering a new system.
If your HVAC system is in the 10-to-15-year age range, that is telltale sign that it is time to start looking into a new system and considering your options. Even if it seems to be operating well now, a breakdown could be around the corner. Repairs can get more costly and extensive as the unit ages. Sometimes homeowners prefer to replace the unit rather than invest more into repairs if the unit is already nearing the end of its lifespan. We always recommend considering your options ahead of time, so that when the time comes to replace your unit, you are well prepared.
As HVAC units age, they require additional repairs to function properly. Sometimes servicing an older system can be costly because it can be difficult to find parts and the repairs usually get larger as the unit ages. In some cases, the cost of repairs might be so high, that it makes more sense to replace the unit. Check out our blog on repair versus replacement for more information.
HVAC technology is rapidly changing, often resulting in improvements that can help make your system run more efficiently and save you money on energy bills. Additional improvements, such as wireless thermostat control, can provide extra convenience to your daily life. If your equipment is outdated, it may be time to start looking into replacement options.
If you take one thing away from this blog, we hope that it is the importance of HVAC maintenance! One of the best things you can do to promote the longevity of your HVAC system is routine maintenance. At Stan’s, we recommend scheduling maintenance on your HVAC system twice each year. The most efficient and cost-effective way to do this is by joining Stan’s Gold Service club. You will receive two tune-ups each year – one for your air conditioning system and one for your heating system. We will keep track of when you are due for maintenance and reach out to you to schedule. In addition, Gold Service Club members receive 15% off all repairs and priority scheduling.
Take the step today to maintain one of your home’s largest investments and contact Stan’s to schedule routine HVAC maintenance!