The average lifespan of a home HVAC system is currently considered to be between 15 and 25 years. Since the cost of replacing these systems is a significant one, homeowners who are using older systems often try to wait as long as possible before scheduling the installation of a new one.
Sometimes this means that homeowners will opt to face winter weather with a heating system that is marginal, at best. If you are a homeowner in this situation, the following tips can help you reduce the stress on your aging furnace and help keep it running though one last heating season.
Ease the load on your aging system
One of the first things to be done when trying to extend the lifespan of any appliance is to ease the workload. For a furnace, this means:
- finding and curing drafts and air leaks in your home
- keeping the thermostat set at a constant temperature that is as low as possible
- closing off any areas of the home that can left unheated without risking damage to water pipes
- covering windows with insulated drapes or using plastic film to create an extra layer of insulation
While using a pre-programmable thermostat to adjust the heat up and down depending upon the schedule of the occupants is a good way to save energy, it may not be the best policy when prolonging the life of the furnace is the goal. When the thermostat is lowered and raised significantly several times a day, the furnace will need to work harder to keep up. Instead, it is better to keep the heat at the lowest possible comfortable setting around the clock to avoid placing extra demands on the HVAC system.
Consider adding a supplemental heat source
Another way to reduce the amount of work an aging furnace must do is to add a supplemental heat source to your home. A pellet stove, gas fireplace, or even a portable electric heater can help to pre-warm chilly areas and reduce the number of times your furnace must kick on and off each day.
Service the furnace more often
Another helpful tip for keeping an older furnace operating when it is past its prime is to have it professionally serviced more frequently. During this type of service call, the HVAC technician will thoroughly clean and adjust all the furnace components to help reduce stress and wear. Additionally, it can be helpful for the homeowner to also change the filters on a much more frequent basis.
To learn more about extending the lifespan of your furnace or to schedule a service call, contact a heating maintenance contractor in your area.