Are you a first-time homeowner who knows next to nothing about HVAC systems? Don’t worry — you aren’t alone. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is a complex part of your new home. If you’re on a quest to become more knowledgeable about everything HVAC, take a look at the basics to explore right now.
How long will your new home’s HVAC system last? In general, a central air conditioning system has a lifespan of between seven and 15 years and a furnace can last for 15 to 25 years, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
The specific length of time your new home’s system lasts depends on several factors, such as:
- The quality of the system. A higher quality system may have a longer lifespan than a bargain model. If you’re not sure what type of system your home came with, ask an experienced professional.
- The service history. Like the quality of the system, you may not have this information immediately available. If there’s a service sticker on the heater or air conditioner, call the company for a service history. Regular maintenance can extend the life of the system.
- The amount of use. A well-used system may suffer from wear and tear. Again, this isn’t something that’s obviously apparent to a new homeowner. A service provider can inspect the system and look for signs of use-related wear and tear.
If your new home’s HVAC system is old, damaged, or not energy efficient, you may need to replace it sooner rather than later. Even though you just invested in your home, an HVAC replacement is an important addition that can reduce utility bills, increase interior comfort, and increase your home’s value (if you plan to sell the property).
HVAC Energy Efficiency
Again, a newer, well-maintained HVAC system is typically an energy-efficient one. But what does energy efficiency really mean (in terms of home heating and cooling)? More specifically, what do you need to know about energy efficiency as a new homeowner?
Many new homeowners need to learn more about energy efficiency and the HVAC system. Points to understand or educate yourself on include:
- Total energy usage. Do your electric or natural gas bills seem high? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating accounts for 42 percent of most households’ utility bill. In the summer, cooling may also make up a sizable portion of your electric usage.
- Energy efficiency appliance ratings. Newer heaters and AC systems are more energy-efficient than their predecessors. Look for the AFUE rating on heaters or the EER rating on AC units to determine energy efficiency.
- Maintenance and use. Maintenance doesn’t only extend the life of your heating appliances. A well-maintained HVAC system works at peak performance. This can increase energy efficiency and lower your home’s utility bills.
An older HVAC system needs to work harder to heat or cool the interior space. Along with the force necessary to control your home’s temperature, older appliances don’t have the energy-efficient technology you’ll find in newer furnaces or air conditioners. If you want to increase your system’s energy efficiency, and you have an older unit, talk to a professional about the replacement options.
If your new home’s HVAC system is old and costs more than you’d like to spend to heat/cool the interior, choose a new heater, air conditioner, or both. Before you buy a new system, discuss the alternatives with a qualified HVAC contractor.
Heaters are available in a variety of types (such as radiant, forced air, or heat pumps) and fuel sources (natural gas, solar, electricity, or oil). Air conditioner choices include forced air central systems, mini-split ductless models, and window units.
Do you need a new HVAC system for your home? Contact Carrano Air HVAC Contractors, Inc, for more information.