Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential components of any home. Depending on the climate you live in, your system may be used for most of the year. While these systems are designed to last for up to 25 years, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure they last as long as possible. But when should you repair or replace your HVAC system? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency's EnergyStar program, an A/C unit typically lasts 15-20 years.
Heat pumps usually last 16 years, while furnaces last 15-20 years. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your system running efficiently and extend its lifespan. When it comes time to decide whether to repair or replace your HVAC system, safety should be your primary concern. If your system presents a safety hazard, such as a cracked heat exchanger that could cause a carbon monoxide leak, it's best to replace it.
However, if the issue is something like a stuck valve or faulty wiring, repairs may be enough. You should also consider the age of your unit. If it's more than 20 years old, it may be time to replace it. However, this is only an average lifespan; some units may last longer.
Factors such as climate and regular maintenance can also affect how long your system lasts. If your heating system isn't working efficiently, you may need to replace it. Signs of an inefficient system include rooms that don't heat up to the temperature you set and an inability to heat the entire house. Additionally, if your air conditioner uses freon, you'll eventually need to replace it with a unit that uses R410A refrigerant. When it comes time to make a decision about repairing or replacing your HVAC system, age is an important factor.
EnergyStar recommends replacing your air conditioning unit every 10-15 years. If yours is 8 years old or older and needs repairs, it may not be worth it unless the repair is simple and inexpensive. If you're unsure whether you should repair or replace your HVAC system, contact an experienced HVAC technician for advice. They can help you weigh the cost of repairs versus replacement and make sure your home stays safe and comfortable.