This is a very good question. We know that all mechanical equipment has a certain life span. We also know that we want to get as much out of that life span that we reasonably can. The age of the heating and cooling equipment can show up in higher operating costs as well as costly break downs. In our area, we have found that you can expect to get an average of 18 to 20 years of service. Of course, a lot of variables come into play. How well has the system been maintained? How much has the system been used? Is it a quality unit? Was it installed properly in the first place? So, how much “quality life” is left in this machine that keeps me comfortable anyway?
Really, the best way to get an educated answer or should I say the” best guess” is to have an honest, qualified service technician inspect your system. You don’t want someone that just wants to sell you a high-priced system but one that will give you an honest opinion. Hard to find? Maybe, but they are out there. Get a referral from someone you know and trust. There are indicators that they can look for as they inspect your system. Are the motor bearings still good? Are the heat exchanger and burners rusted and corroded? Is the condensate pan rusted out? How does the compressor sound on start-up and while operating? Is the refrigerant system tight, or is it leaking? There are quite a few things that an experienced service technician can look at to determine how much quality life is still left in your system.
Sometimes, there aren’t even obvious symptoms that you, the home owner, are even aware of that can point to a system that’s about to give up the ghost. But, a thorough inspection of your system by an honest, qualified technician, can help prevent a costly, emergency system replacement at the worst possible time.