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Air Conditioner & Furnace Lifespan: When to Replace

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Frigidaire contractor taking a look at a Frigidaire air conditioner

The lifespan of your air conditioner or furnace is highly dependant on installation quality and regular maintenance

Unfortunately, there will come a time when even the most properly maintained furnace or air conditioner can go on no longer. According to a recent American Home Comfort Study, the lifespans of different equipment tend to hover around the same marks. A properly maintained and installed furnace can last 20 years while an air conditioner and heat pump can last around 16 years and 14 years, respectively (on average). As you can imagine, heating and cooling technology progresses immensely over such a long period of time. Here are some reasons why you should replace your old HVAC system if it is approaching the end of its lifespan.

Chart depicting the average lifespan for heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces
R-410A canister and box

Switch to an R-410-A compatible air conditioner or heat pump

Old systems most likely use R-22, an ozone-depleting refrigerant that was recently named harmful for the environment. Manufacturers are slowly phasing-out the use of R-22 and creating units that are compatible with R-410A. Initially R-410A was more expensive than R-22 but that gap has closed. Switch to R-410A now and save later.

Get premium home comfort with a new HVAC system

Frigidaire heat pump

Replacing your old unit with a new unit will result in greater home comfort throughout your home. It’s not that your old unit wasn’t originally a quality system at its time, but it is just that newer systems have surpassed the technology that was available when your old unit was produced. You can add indoor air quality features that can help you reduce allergens, volatile organic compounds and other indoor air contaminants so that you can breathe easier. This is all available, plus you can potentially save bundles of money on your monthly utility bills when compared to the costs of operating your old unit.

New systems contain features that reduce noise

Old units may get, for lack of a better word, clunky as they age. All of those years of hard work and exposure to either outdoor elements or poorly insulated interior spaces (i.e. basements, attics and crawlspaces) can take their toll on even the highest-quality unit. While regular preventative maintenance might help stave off the effects of the elements on your unit, eventually it may start becoming loud while it operates. A new system will not have those problems because they are, of course, brand new and contain additional system features that can help reduce noise. Our iQ Drive air conditioners and heat pumps are some of the quietest systems in the industry – down to 59 decibels.

Noise reduction features in new units include:

  • Compressor sound blanket
    Your compressor is the nosiest part of your central cooling system. It is really like the heart of your unit - it pumps the refrigerant through your system and has a bit of a beat. The compressor sound blanket helps muffle the noise your compressor makes as it works to cool your home.
  • Swept-wing fan blades
    These aerodynamic fan blades work smoothly and quietly for premium performance and low noise levels.
  • Inverter technology
    iQ Drive products are able to vary the compressor and fan speed motors indefinitely. This ability allows you to continuously run your system at lower capacities – avoiding energy-guzzling, noisy on/off cycles.
  • Multi-stage operation
    If you decide to not go with an iQ Drive system, you can still choose a unit that operates in two -stages – one at a lower capacity and one at full capacity. This way you can run your unit for a longer period of time at the lower, quieter capacity, resulting in a reduction of on/off cycles.
  • Insulated furnace cabinet
    The insulation surrounding the furnace cabinet is 1” thick and helps reduce the noises associated with operating your home heating system.
Frigidaire contractor examines the inside of a Frigidaire furnace

A new HVAC system can be a huge leap in efficiency

Even a new, minimum efficiency air conditioner or furnace can be a significant jump in efficiency. The old furnace in your basement may only be originally rated at 60% to 70% AFUE. In order to comply with national regulations, furnaces manufactured today have to be rated at a minimum of 80% AFUE. This is a 10% to 20% increase in efficiency, and we are not even taking into account that your old furnace may have even become less efficient over the years. The same goes for air conditioners. Old efficiency requirements were set at 10 SEER. Nowadays, air conditioners must be at least 13 SEER. That is a 30% increase in efficiency just by switching to a minimum efficiency system.

Get outstanding warranty coverage

Frigidaire 10-Year warranty

Frigidaire air conditioner, heat pumps and furnaces are all covered by an outstanding 10-Year Limited All Parts Warranty when the unit is registered. For system recommendations, talk to your local HVAC system replacement contractor. If you are looking for an HVAC professional in your area, turn to the Frigidaire dealer locator.

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A Frigidaire contractor and homeowner discuss an air conditioner's lifespan.

Still need help deciding whether it is time for you to replace your old air conditioner or furnace? Contact your local Frigidaire contractor. Use the Frigidaire dealer locator to find a local professional.

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