The Biggest Reasons HVAC Systems Die Prematurely

With summer approaching, you’re likely gearing up to use your HVAC system more. After all, no one wants to deal with a heat wave or 100° weather inside their home. By preventing HVAC failure, you can avoid heat stroke, excessive sweating, and fatigue that can come with too much heat. To prevent HVAC failure that can make your home uncomfortable during such hot weather, read on to learn about some of the biggest reasons why such failure happens and how you can prevent it.

Poor Home Insulation

Poor Home Insulation

Did you know that your home insulation can affect how well your HVAC system functions? Your HVAC system is not an isolated unit in your space. Its job is to cool or heat your home as needed. Therefore, if your home suffers from ongoing heat or cold air loss because of poor insulation, it could take a long time for your HVAC system to reach the temperature you set it to. There are several ways you can insulate your home to make it more energy efficient and reduce the likelihood that you’ll have to replace your system before or during summer.

Your roof is often one of the major culprits of heat loss in a home. Contact your local roofing company for regular roofing inspections. Your roofing professional can see if there are cracks or holes causing air to escape or water to leak in. While your roofing contractor can always make timely repairs and patch those things up, they may even suggest a roofing replacement. Speaking of energy efficiency, if you want a roof that can keep your home cold in summer or throughout hot weather year-round, it may be time to opt for metal. Even if you have an asphalt roof that’s in good condition, replacing it with a metal roof can save on energy usage. A metal roof has a natural ability to reflect heat away from the home. Doing so keeps the home cooler, which means your HVAC system doesn’t have to work so hard, even during a heat wave. Having local roofing contractors make this timely insulation update can be a step in preventing HVAC failure.

Trees also aid in your home’s energy efficiency. You should contact local landscapers to strategically plant new trees in the right areas. Trees are tall structures that provide shade and prevent air loss. They can also prevent weather extremes whether it’s too much heat or too much cold from getting into the home. As a result, you don’t have to overly heat or cool your home with your HVAC system. In addition to providing a beautiful view, properly planted trees can help add to your HVAC system’s lifespan. Contact local tree services this spring, so they can begin planting those trees that add years to your HVAC life.

Lack of Inspections

A typical HVAC usually has a warranty. One of the ways you can avoid having a problem with your warranty is by scheduling regular inspections from local HVAC companies. A lack of inspections can quickly lead to HVAC failure because you won’t have professionals dealing with small issues before they worsen. You may think nothing is wrong with your AC unit because you’re not a professional. However, the sight, sound, and airflow from your unit may quickly alarm your HVAC services professional that something should be repaired, fixed, or even replaced.

Speaking of replacement, a reputable company can also recommend when your HVAC system is on its last legs, and it’s time for a replacement. By replacing your unit before HVAC failure happens, you won’t have a lull in efficient cooling. That could be a big deal in the summer months. After all, summer is a time when many HVAC companies are the busiest and you don’t want to be without efficient cooling during a heat wave. It could make your home susceptible to heat-related illnesses. According to the CDC, as many as 11,000 Americans have died so far from such heat-related illnesses since 1979. For the sake of your home health, and safety, and maintaining a valid HVAC warranty, schedule those inspections at least once a year. However, if you live in a very dusty area, have pollution, or have frequent construction nearby, you may need more frequent inspections to keep your unit functioning.

Clogged and Dirty Parts

Clogged and Dirty Parts

General home cleaning goes beyond vacuuming your carpet and dusting. You should be just as mindful about cleaning your HVAC system. When you have dirty or clogged filters, it makes your HVAC system work overtime. Unfortunately, this is a common oversight throughout many homes. Your blocked filters restrict airflow that comes out of your system, which is why it makes the HVAC system work harder to get the air out. As a result, your unit uses an excessive amount of energy which you’ll notice in higher bills every summer. That’s why it’s essential to have regular HVAC servicing, so your local HVAC contractors can check for issues related to the filtering system. If you have an HVAC system that relies on a duct network, it needs even more intensive cleaning from professionals. HVAC ducts can harbor mold, dust, and contaminants. They can decrease the air quality in your home. You’ll know you should schedule an additional HVAC cleaning service if you and your family start having allergic reactions. In the case of mold, that’s the last thing you want to breathe in, as it can cause respiratory problems like asthma, lung infections, bronchitis, and more. According to Extreme AC, you should inspect and replace filters about every one to three months. Prevent HVAC failure by doing something as simple as removing and cleaning a filter.

Your filter isn’t the only part of your system that can affect your HVAC when it becomes dirty. The condenser unit can also lead to premature HVAC failure due to a lack of cleanliness. When you have an outdoor condenser unit, it can quickly accumulate a range of debris, such as leaves, trash, dirt, dust, contaminants, ice, and anything it’s exposed to in the outdoors. The best way to avoid a buildup of debris is to be mindful of what’s near the unit. Ideally, you shouldn’t have anything up against it as it can block optimal airflow. Plus, you don’t want to run the risk of a fire hazard if it overheats. Clean the space around the unit, so you don’t have anything that can blow into it and get stuck. You can also prepare to protect this unit during the off-season. If you live in an area with seasonal weather, then you likely won’t be using your AC in winter or fall. That’s a perfect time to cover the condenser unit with a tarp and turn it off so it can rest and not be susceptible to ice and snow buildup

Refrigerant Issues

You may need an HVAC repair service to handle refrigerant issues. If the refrigerant levels get too low, it can cause HVAC failure, as it won’t be able to cool your space efficiently. Those coolant levels can become too low when the unit begins to leak. That’s why it is essential to keep up with regular servicing so any leaks will be quickly detected and fixed. You may notice signs of such leaks by icy build-up on refrigerant lines. Any type of moisture can cause similar damage, whether it’s water from pipes or coolant from an AC. Pay attention to the signs of mold or water stains on walls or floors near your HVAC unit. If it goes unmanaged, you’ll deal with unit failure and it will continue to cause damage to your property, requiring water and mold mediation.

Corrosion Issues

Corrosion Issues

Corrosion is a major cause of HVAC failure. Corrosion on your unit will happen when it’s been exposed to chloride or fluoride compounds in area water supplies. Over time, corrosion can lead to leaks in the coils because it creates small pits or cavities in the metal surface. Expect to get HVAC corrosion protection if you live near areas that contain saltwater or industrial sites. Therefore, if you have a home by the beach and you want to maintain your HVAC system, be mindful that you may need extra servicing to protect it. Corrosion protection can include regular coil cleaning to remove debris, dust, and dirt. Your HVAC services can also apply special coatings like epoxy or polymer to create a barrier from these corrosive environments.

Thermostat Issues

Your HVAC system needs a functioning thermostat to operate. Otherwise, it won’t know what temperature it should blow the air at. You may notice issues if you turn on the heat, but only cool air comes out. Or the opposite may happen when the cold air you need in summer feels warmer than it should. You may notice temperature inconsistencies, and if these persist, it’ll likely result in HVAC failure. Proper calibration can prevent this from happening and many people decide to upgrade to a programmable thermostat to make their system more modern and easier to handle.

Electrical Faults

Electrical Faults

Don’t forget that your HVAC system needs electrical work to function. If there’s faulty wiring and corroded connections, it can affect the way the individual parts work together. That’s why electrical installation companies are essential in ensuring your unit can always function at a higher level. Even beyond the HVAC system, you should ensure your home network has a high enough voltage and strong grid to support a functioning HVAC system.

If you have a new installation, you may need to rewire your home, especially if it’s still running on an older wire network. After all, you don’t want your home electrical system to short circuit, and an HVAC system often requires more energy. When burning your unit throughout the summer, remember it places additional energy and pressure on your electrical system. Make sure it can handle that by having proper home electrical wiring inspections and updates along with your HVAC system electrical wiring, and general inspection.

Capacitors are part of your HVAC electrical network. When you turn the unit on and off, the capacitors help this function. They’re responsible for storing and releasing electrical energy as needed. Timely inspections can prevent them from wearing down and preventing the unit from turning on. The contactor sends voltage to the compressor and condenser fan. Replacing this part as needed can ensure proper voltage levels are maintained.


Unfortunately, your HVAC system doesn’t have an infinite lifespan. Your HVAC system will eventually die out and need replacement no matter how often you repair it. The average lifespan of most HVAC systems is 15 to 25 years, according to Bob Vila. Just how long yours lasts can depend on the type of system you have, how often you have it maintained, and the overall environment the system has to operate in. Knowing when to call local air conditioning services can be a major factor in whether you have to replace your unit five years after buying it versus 25 years after buying.


The United States is a geographically diverse country, with different regions and weather patterns. Therefore, the part of the country you live in can affect how often you use your HVAC system, and how high you turn it. If you live in a more arid or humid climate, like the southwest or South Florida, you may be burning your AC unit daily. That can create a lot of wear and tear on your system that may cause failure earlier than in more temperate parts of the country.

HVAC failure doesn’t have to happen sooner than you expect it to. By understanding the components of your system, you know what to look out for and when to call local HVAC services to assist you. Doing so can preserve its lifespan and ensure you and your family don’t have to go without proper cooling and heating any time of the year. Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding how you can prevent your system from failing and causing you to spend more money than needed. Good luck having a functioning HVAC system in 2024.

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