When 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.
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.
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.