Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a longtime homeowner, there are a few HVAC basics you should know to better understand and take care of your home heating and cooling systems. Our Bryant® technicians are sharing these facts—and answering the top questions from our customers:
What is an HVAC system?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Not just a furnace, fan, or air conditioner, HVAC systems also include heat pumps, boilers, and air purifiers—any unit that promotes comfort and healthy indoor air quality.
How long do HVAC systems typically last?
Every system is different, and maintenance plays a big part in how long your unit will last, but here are a few average lifespans:
- Air conditioner: 15-20 years
- Furnace: 15-20 years
- Heat pump: 15 years
- Boiler: 10-15 years
- Humidifier/Dehumidifier: 8-10 years
How often do system filters need to be replaced?
How frequently you change your air filter depends on the type of filter you’re using and conditions in your home. For standard one-inch air filters, it’s recommended that you change them at least once a month. More efficient filters, like high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, can last anywhere from six months to one year, depending on pets, pollen counts, or if someone in your home smokes. If you’re unsure about when to replace your filter, it’s safe to swap it out when it starts to look visibly dirty—or you can call our professionals for a recommendation.
Does my system really need annual maintenance?
The short answer is: yes. Maintenance is the key to a safe, efficient system that operates reliably and has fewer breakdowns. We recommend that homeowners have their heating and cooling systems tuned up every year—usually as a preseason preventive step. We’ll thoroughly inspect and clean your unit, and take care of any issues that might cause your system to falter or fail when you need it most. Read about the benefits of our maintenance program—you may want to join to protect your home comfort systems.
How do I know if something is wrong with my furnace or A/C?
Strange odors and sounds are clear signs that something is wrong with your system. Additional red flags include:
- Irregular cycling
- Rising energy bills
- Nonfunctional thermostat
- No heating or cooling power
- Frequent breakdowns and repairs
If you’re wondering how your HVAC system is holding up, give our team a call or schedule an inspection—we’re always happy to help.