“Mack, how long do you think my system is going to last?”
I will get asked that exact question, or a derivative of that question, every day. The hard part to this question is that there is no exact number. I can tell you 12 years, but it may last 15. I can tell you 15 years, but it may only last 12. I may tell you either of those and it may only last 10 years. Much like our own bodies, we can only gauge our current condition, how we maintain our bodies and studies from medical institutions.
There is good news though. Much like the magazine and online articles that tell us how to live longer and healthier, we can do the same for you heating and cooling system.
Let’s talk about the 3 Keys to the Long Life of your heating and air system!
Want a system that will last well past its manufacturer’s warranty and beyond? Make sure you’re getting a great installation. It doesn’t take much to effect a systems life when it comes to installation. Not a believer yet? Let’s look at the numbers.
Duct Leaks: Efficiency Reduction of up to 15%
Duct Leaks + Improperly Sized: Efficiency Reduction of up to 20%
Improperly Charged: Efficiency Reduction of up to 30%
That’s what we mean when we talk about a great installation. Making sure that leaky plenums aren’t left behind after installation. Making sure that the system has been sized properly to the house in order to control humidity and reduce premature wear and tear. Charging the system to the manufacturer’s specifications. These are only three of the many factors to a great installation.
That’s my answer when I’m asked if routine cleaning and checks are a good thing. If your car drove as much as your air conditioning system runs in one year, it would travel roughly 200,000 miles. That’s a lot, right? Let’s break down what you would have done to your car just in that year alone.
Oil Changes: Approximately 40
Cabin Air Filter Changes: Approximately 16
Brakes Changed: Approximately 4
Tires Change: Approximately 4
This is just a list of the major things. We aren’t even going to break into the small things needed just to keep it running down the road. If you were to not perform regular maintenance, what would happen to your car? It would be sitting on the sitting on the side of the road right now. Something would have given up before it could reach that 200,000 mile mark. Now realize that your air conditioner actually runs that much in a year. How important would routine maintenance seem to you knowing that?
The secret is officially out now. Brand of equipment plays the smallest of rolls in the life of your system. We’ve all seen and heard the commercials about whose brand is better. In fact, some companies hinge their entire business on a brand of equipment. The reality is that if you have a problem with your system, I highly doubt you’re going to call the manufacturer. Like so many of us, you would pick up the phone and called the company you paid to install it. I have my personal taste in brand of equipment and that’s my choice. However, if I’m putting my eggs in any baskets, I place them in the “installation” and “maintenance” baskets.