How to Extend the Life of your HVAC System

A new heating and cooling system is one of the most important investments you make in your home, so it makes sense—environmentally as well as financially! —to do what we can to help keep your HVAC system in good, safe working condition for as long as possible. According to, the typical lifespan for heating and cooling equipment is around 15 years (shorter for heat pumps and air conditioners, and slightly longer for furnaces, boilers, and geothermal systems). The service technicians at JK Mechanical recommend these methods for extending the life of your HVAC system when possible:

  1. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular planned, professional maintenance isn’t just good for maintaining your comfort and extending the life of your heating & cooling system. Regular maintenance—including regular filter changes—also help your unit work more efficiently, thus saving you on utility and using less non-renewable resources. A dirty air filter alone causes your heating and cooling system to work harder, using more electricity and driving up your utility bill. According to EnergyStar, even just changing a dirty filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%.

  1. Change Your Air Filter Regularly

Speaking of filters: it’s true that your JK service technician will change your air filter at your regular maintenance appointment 1-2 times per year. However, for the vast majority of systems, the air filter should be changed every 1-3 months to keep your system running well and delivering reliable comfort, which is more often than most folks schedule a maintenance visit. If you’re not sure how often you should be changing your filter or are not sure how to change it on your own, you can always ask the technician for guidance at your next Precision Tune-Up and they will be happy to help.

  1. Keep Pups Away

This is kind of a gross one, but something we see regularly that causes issues with outdoor units like heat pumps and condensers is dogs that use the outdoor unit as a fire hydrant, so to speak. Because urine is acidic, over time it will eat right through the metal casing and can cause serious mechanical issues, up to fully condemning the unit. If your outdoor unit is located in a part of your yard that your dog frequents, consider adding breathable fencing (without blocking the airflow of the unit!) for protection.

  1. Get the Right Fit

Think of it as the Goldilocks rule: something you can do at the time your purchase your HVAC system to ensure you get the best possible lifespan from your investment is to use a trusted contractor and purchase a system that is sized correctly for your home. A system that is too small will run too much, while a system that is too large will cycle on and off more frequently than we would like.  A system that is sized just right will have the best chance of providing your and your family with reliable, consistent comfort (in addition to other benefits such as better air quality) for years to come.

  1. Give it Space

Speaking of fencing: our technicians recommend 24 inches of clearance around your outdoor unit (save for one side, which is closer to the house) and at least 48 inches above the unit. Keep debris or landscaping clear of the unit and avoid obtrusive screens, fences, or covers, which can disrupt airflow and shorten the life of your unit. Inside the home, maintaining good clearance around all thermostats, sensors, grilles, and venting also helps keep your system working safely and delivering reliable comfort.

Whether you are ready to replace your HVAC system or are looking for reliable service to get the most from your investment, the JK team is here to help. Schedule your PTU online or contact us below for your complimentary, no-pressure replacement quote.


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