When it comes to investing in your home, few improvements offer you such long-lasting benefits as an HVAC system that efficiently cools and heats your home. These units, which may cost up to $5,000 depending on your home size and location, can save you money on heating and cooling costs and help you develop a more energy-efficient home. Typically, these units last up to ten years or more. However, if you want to extend the life of your HVAC system, there are a few practices and tips you can use that may help.

Do Not Ignore Odd Sounds or Odors

After owning your HVAC system for a few months, you will probably become accustomed to the sounds and occasional odors it produces during a normal cycle. However, if these change or you notice new sounds, such as banging or buzzing while your system is running, these are signs that something could be wrong and should not be ignored. The sooner you call your HVAC tech in, the sooner these issues can be resolved and you may avoid a hefty repair bill later as well.

Keep the Condenser Free of Clutter

Your unit outdoor condenser works hard to pull air into your home before it is cooled and sent into the interior of your home. To keep it at peak performance, you should take steps to ensure it is not surrounded by backyard clutter, weeds, tree branches, or other types of debris. When the condenser must work harder to create airflow, this can shorten its life.

During the summer months, inspect the area around your condenser at least once a month. Trim back tree branches at least three to five feet around the unit and do not store any yard tools or other objects near it. If you decide to enclose your condenser, keep the space between the interior of the enclosure and the unit clear.

Learn to Program Your Thermostat

Taking the time to learn how to program your HVAC thermostat can not only help you lower your energy bills, it can also extend the life of the unit. When you set your system to run constantly, even when no one is home, this means it will have to work harder and contribute to wear and tear. Learning how to program the unit causes it to run more efficiently and can reduce run time.

If you are not sure how to program your thermostat, look up your brand online for some simple directions or ask your HVAC tech to give you some tips. Learn to program your unit so that it shuts off when you leave for work and turns on thirty minutes before you arrive back home so the interior temperature of your home is comfortable. The more efficiently the unit runs, the longer the lifespan it may experience.

Replace Air Filters Regularly

Keeping your HVAC air filters clean can be key in keeping it running at peak condition. When the filters are dirty and clogged with pet hair, dust, and other debris, the unit has to work harder to keep air flowing at a consistent rate. Over time, this may shorten the life of your system.

If you are not sure how to replace an air filter in your HVAC unit, have a professional cooling and heating service visit your home to change them. Ask the tech for tips on keeping the filters clean and make future appointments to have your unit inspected and the filters replaced at least two or three times during the year.

Your home HVAC unit is a vital component in keeping it comfortable all year round, and breakdowns can be inconvenient as well as costly. Taking steps to extend the life of your system can keep it running at peak efficiency increase your home value, and give you peace of mind as a homeowner.