How to Lengthen the Life of Your Heating and Cooling System

American Standard air conditioner outside at home
Your heating and cooling system will last longer if you follow a regular maintenance plan.

When it comes to your home’s heating and cooling system, you know that replacing it can be expensive.

So, getting the most out of your current system should be your goal to delay a large — upward of $4,000 — replacement cost.

Here are some tips that will allow you to increase the lifespan of your heating and cooling system.

Friendly American Standard HVAC technician, who is wearing a cap, smiles, holds a clipboard, and stands beside a condenser unit
A heating and cooling specialist should check your air conditioner at least twice a year.

1. Get Annual Tune-Ups

You need to call a heating, ventilation and air conditioning professional and get HVAC tune-ups twice a year (once for heating and once for cooling).

Get your furnace checked just before its winter use and your air conditioner checked just before the hot months of summertime.

Your tune-up professional will lubricate and inspect all system parts for functionality. They’ll replace filters, clean out drain holes and check your refrigerant levels.

These maintenance visits will ensure that your system is running optimally, and that it will work when you need it most to stay comfortable in your home.

Man changing air conditioner filter
You should change your heating and cooling filter every 90 days. (DepositPhotos)

2. Change the Heating and Cooling System’s Filters

Your heating and cooling system has filters that require changing or cleaning every so often. The jobs of these filters are to trap harmful debris and allergens throughout your ventilation system.

It’s a good idea to change these filters every 90 days, at least, so that your system works efficiently and to prevent system failure.

If you don’t change your filters, they will become clogged. This will make it difficult for the heating and cooling system to push air through your ventilation pipes.

Watch and Learn: How to Change an Air Conditioner Filter

Man sets American Standard AccuLink thermostat
Programmable thermostats, particularly Wi-Fi connected ones, adapt to your heating and cooling needs.

3. Use a Programmable Thermostat

When you use your heating and cooling system less, it lasts longer. With a programmable thermostat, you can strategically use your system so that it only runs when you need it.

For example, with a programmable thermostat, you can set it to start heating or cooling your home to a more comfortable level about a half-hour before you get home in the evening.

This way, you can save on energy costs and heating and cooling running time during the daytime hours when no one is home.

Better yet, a Wi-Fi connected smart thermostat can monitor your patterns and suggest efficiencies, saving you even more money.

Watch and Learn: How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

Setting smart thermostat to auto fan
Your thermostat’s ‘auto’ fan setting is very good for your wallet. (DepositPhotos)

4. Use the ‘Auto’ Setting

Your heating and cooling system has various settings. The most common ones are the ‘auto’ and ‘on’ positions.

You should always run your system on the ‘auto’ setting. This means that the fan will only blow when the system needs it to do so to reach the desired temperature.

When you set your system to the ‘on’ position, the fan will run around the clock regardless of the set temperature.

Extending the life of your heating and cooling unit is all about caring for its components and limiting unnecessary use.

When you run your heating and cooling system only when you need it, you can count on it lasting longer than the manufacturer suggests.

Anica Oaks is a freelance writer.


    • Much of the maintenance can be done by the homeowner. Keeping the system clean is a must which will alert you to a lot of problems

  1. I do not have central air. Have to use a window unit. What I would love information on. A.C . Know they make one with. Heat and air. But I never have any information or reviews. Please can you help


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