A Timeline of HVAC Replacement and Maintenance

A Timeline of HVAC Replacement and MaintenanceWhen you buy a new HVAC system, you want it to run as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. But the only way to do that is to keep it properly maintained throughout its lifetime. If you don’t take care of it, it will run down and begin using more energy. To prevent that and keep your system in top shape, here’s a basic HVAC maintenance timeline to follow over the system’s lifetime.

Every month                           

Check your air filter. If your air filter becomes clogged, it can not only reduce your indoor air quality, but also reduce airflow through your system, which wastes energy and ultimately damages the system. Check your filter every month to see if it should be replaced.

Every 3–6 months

Replace your filter. How often your filter needs replacing depends on the quality of the filter, your home’s lifestyle, and other factors. If the filter is white and translucent, it’s still usable. If it’s grey and opaque, it’s time to replace it.

Every year

Schedule maintenance. An essential part of your HVAC maintenance timeline, this should technically be two annual visits — one in the autumn for your furnace and one in the spring for your A/C. Your HVAC service technician will inspect the system to make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. This includes calibrating the thermostat, tightening all electrical components, oiling the motor and other moving parts, and checking the condensate drain for blockages. For your A/C, they should also check the refrigerant level, and for your furnace, they should check the gas pressure and connections.

Every 15 years

Replace the unit. With regular maintenance, an A/C will last about 10–15 years, a furnace will last 15–20 years, and a heat pump will last around 16 years. Even if the system seems to be in good working order, when it gets to be around 15 years old, you should start shopping around for a new one.

For more help with your HVAC maintenance timeline, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve been San Diego’s source for quality HVAC service since 2002.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Clker-Free-Vector-Images/pixabay”

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  • It is true that air filters can be clogged quickly, and changing them is a great way to keep your A/C system running smoothly. We urge our customers to check their filters to make sure that the A/C system is ventilated.

  • That is great that there are things you can do to make sure that the air conditioner doesn’t break down so easily. I think the air filter is something that people try to not do all the time because it can cost a lot. I think it could really reduce the problems you have down the road.

  • I like the timeline this article has laid out for various repairs and when to do them. I think that following a structured timeline like this could be beneficial for my home as I often forget the last time I had something replaced or maintained. I’ll have to keep this in mind when planning for my next repair as I want it to become more structured.

  • I am so glad I found this article because my AC unit is just coming up on its 15th year. It is still in good condition, but I am going to need to start shopping around, like this article said. If I can ask, what is the reason AC units should be replaced every 15 years?

    • Sorry for the delay in responding! This comment got buried somehow.
      Year over year, your unit slowly loses efficiency. So, even if the unit is FUNCTIONAL it will cost more and more to operate. Eventually, the time comes when it’s worth the investment to replace the old equipment to save on monthly utility costs.

  • Good timeline for HVAC system replacement and maintenance. Thank you for sharing.

  • What a helpful timeline. This should help anyone who might be confused about when they should have their furnace maintained.

  • It would be good for every homeowner to schedule regular inspections. That way they can ensure that their system is always running effectively. If there is a problem, it will hopefully be spotted before it gets any worse. That way you can make sure everything stays working how it should!

    • Couldn’t agree more!

  • This is a handy reference to share with folks. Proper maintenance–whether it be for air conditioning equipment, your vehicles, your appliances, whatever–is a real money saver. Maintenance keeps your equipment lasting much longer and saving you lots of money in the long run.

  • I live in an older house and I am not sure when the last time someone checked my HVAC system. I didn’t know that filters needed to be checked and replaced so often to maintain optimal air quality. I’m also unaware how old the system is so I am going to have to schedule a contractor to come out and check it. I will also make sure that they change out the air filters when they come out.

    • I’m glad you read the post! I hope you can get your HVAC system serviced soon. It will improve your air quality ten folds!


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