The Surprising Lifespan of Your HVAC Unit

When you’re shopping for a new house, it’s exciting to imagine yourself working in your new kitchen, reading books for your kids’ bedtime in their sweet new rooms, or being more productive than ever in an office space that’s entirely your own. What people often forget to consider, though, is how many years they’ll have with their new home’s HVAC unit! Here are some tips for figuring out how long your unit will last.

The Average Life Expectancy

An HVAC unit that has been properly and regularly maintained should last between 10-25 years and a furnace should last you anywhere between 15-25 years. You may even get a few more years out of them if you’ve been sure to work with your HVAC technician on keeping them in tip-top condition!

If you’ve just bought your home and are wondering how much life is left in the existing HVAC unit, our best tip is to go ahead and get an expert to come do a diagnostic test on your unit. They should be able to tell you if there are any big issues or whether the wear and tear on your unit is out of the ordinary.

Be sure to pay attention to your unit’s performance before their visit so that you can tell them how comfortable your home has been. Does it take a long time for your unit to heat up or cool off a room? Does it make a lot of noise? Are your energy bills super high? These things can be indicators that your unit is working in overdrive to compensate for some broken or deteriorated parts.

The good news?

You may be surprised to learn that we at BNG Heating & Cooling are all about making your HVAC system last as long as possible! That’s why we offer maintenance plan packages—where we come by on a regular basis to analyze the health of your unit. We do this because we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Every day, we encounter issues on our maintenance visits that we can quickly resolve but that would have posed a serious problem (and expense) if they had gone unnoticed.

Another bit of good news? When the time does come for your system to be replaced, we’re offer deals on the best units in the business because we’re an Authorized Bryant Dealer. Our aim is to equip you with a unit that’s going to last you twice as long as your last one and energy-efficient enough to save you money in the long run. Oh, and we offer really flexible financing options, so that the unexpected expense of a new unit doesn’t hit you too hard.

If you’re ready to make your home comfort, energy efficiency, and air purification a priority, then it’s time to give us a call. We’re ready to send one of our technicians to your house today!

Save On Your Energy Bills This Winter

Home comfort is our passion. Because of that, we’re devastated to come across families—every single winter—who are freezing in their homes and spending way too much money on energy bills because they didn’t prepare for the cold winter months.

We want your home to be your oasis, your absolute favorite place in the world. And we know that the holidays are already expensive enough without high energy bills. That’s why we’ve made this list of our best tips for making your home as energy-efficient AND warm as possible this winter:

Proper Insulation

We preach the importance of insulation year-round, but there’s no time of the year more crucial for insulation performance than the freezing months ahead.

When you call one of our experts to perform an energy audit on your home, we’re able to go through and perform thermal imaging tests to discover exactly where you’re losing energy.  Then, we can come in and repair your insulation or even add an insulation topper to ensure sufficient energy efficiency.

Sealed Openings

Many homeowners neglect to seal their windows and doors, allowing cold air to consistently seep into their home.

While newer, energy efficient windows may not need this added level of protection, most older homes could greatly benefit from a little caulk around its window and door frames.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

It sounds like we’re selling our product—and of course we are!—but only because we see time and time again how consistently maintaining your large HVAC equipment prevents breakdowns.

Our technicians are able to catch little hiccups before they become big, expensive ones.

Find a Trusted Partner

Last, but not least, is that you find someone that you can call when your home is struggling to keep up with the cold weather.

No matter if you’re calling to make sure you don’t run into any problems or if your HVAC unit has just worn out, we’re the people you can trust to get you back on track.

When your home stops being your favorite winter escape, don’t hesitate to call our 24/7 service line.

HVAC System Replacement: FAQ

When you invest in a top-notch heating and cooling system, you expect it to serve your family well for a very, very long time.

Eventually, however, you have to notice the signs that it’s time to replace your unit.

Here are the questions that we’re usually asked when a client is looking into replacing their system:  

When do I know it’s time?

The number one sign is usually when your home’s vents either stop blowing cool air or stop blowing air at all. You’d hate to get to that point!

Here is EnergyStar’s official list of recommendations for when it’s time to replace your unit, but keep in mind that every unit and home is different!

Your home may be in need of new insulation or you may just be experiencing some consequences of poor maintenance. Be sure that you need a replacement before jumping the gun.

Call in an expert to hear their recommendation!

How can I extend the lifetime of my current system?

We tell our customers to schedule regular maintenance on their systems because that is the surest way to keep your system healthy. Don’t wait until things break down before you investigate the mechanics of your system.

If you take care to pay attention to it at the beginning and end of every season change, the likelihood that you’ll experience a breakdown is much, much lower.

What’s the benefit of replacing my not-dead-yet unit?  

While systems often perform well beyond their expected lifespan, sometimes it’s not wise to stretch the life of a unit just to save on replacement costs.

This is especially true if your unit has been performing poorly for some time, because you’ve probably been spending way more than necessary on your utility bills and on small repairs.

We love this rule of thumb: “You take the age of the equipment and multiply that by the repair cost. If the number is more than $5,000, then you should consider replacement.

For example, a 10-year-old unit with a $350 repair equals $3,500. It’s OK to repair.”

I’m not financially ready to replace. Do you offer financing?

Yes, we do!

If you’re ready to make the move, consider these questions when choosing your new system. Not sure yet? We’re happy to give you a professional consultation.

Give us a call so that we can get you on the right track today.  

Winterizing your HVAC system

When we think of winter, we often look forward to gleaming banks of snow and hot cocoa by the fire. But, with freezing temperatures comes a huge strain on your heating systems. Complicated machines need maintenance to make sure they work when you need them to. Even though we’ve already seen snow on the ground, it’s not too late to plan ahead and get your furnace tested!

Keep the outside air out and the inside air in

We talk about this a lot, but one of the most important elements of energy savings is to ensure there are no air leaks in your home. During the cold season, warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder and cost you more to heat your home. Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between stationary house components, like a door frame or weatherstripping to seal components that move like an operable window.

Replace your filter

During the winter, one of the most important and simple ways to keep your HVAC system in top shape is by maintaining the filters. Filters that are properly chosen and cleaned/replaced can have a huge impact on your energy costs, the quality of air in your home, and the efficiency of your system.

Filters should be replaced or cleaned, depending on your type of filter, about every three months. By keeping your filters maintained, you will not only have your home more primed for winter, but if you or a family member suffer from allergies, it’s even more important in the winter to make sure the allergens are filtered out of your home, as you spend more time stuck indoors.

Do a little clean up

When your furnace is dormant, it’s easy to let clutter gather up around it, however it is so important to remove all flammable objects from around your furnace and water heater. This tip seems obvious, but can be very dangerous for your home. Look for paper products, boxes, aerosols, and other dry or chemical items, especially if your furnace or water heater are kept in a small room.

Show some TLC to your furnace

The humble furnace is often forgotten for most of the year, until the chill in the air becomes intense enough that you reluctantly switch on the heat. Autumn is the ideal time for a maintenance check, allowing sediment build-up to be cleaned out, reducing the risk of becoming a fire-hazard, as well as for all the nuts, bolts and wiring to be inspected!

At BNG, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! And even though winter has already arrived, it is not too late for preventative maintenance to your heating systems. Of course, all that being said, a preventive maintenance plan is only as good as the people you have carrying it out. That’s where BNG comes in. We have 150 years of combined experience serving you. We want you to make your home as comfortable as possible because we know you have better things to worry about than your HVAC system, like getting your kids to school on time.

Contact us at one of our four locations to get a free estimate from our expert technicians on service or repair.

Common HVAC Myths

As Halloween approaches, we see more and more of the same horrors: ghosts and ghouls roaming the earth, zombies craving brains, and people who don’t know they can leave their AC on when they leave the house! Oh the horror! If the most terrifying thing you can imagine is a ridiculously high energy bill, this post is for you. We’re going to address some of the most common HVAC myths we see.

Myth #1 You should always turn off your HVAC system when you leave the house.

While you may want to turn off your HVAC system when you’re leaving the house for more than 24 hours, it’s not necessary when you’ll be gone for a shorter period of time. In fact, turning your HVAC off and on could be costing you more! HVAC systems work to cool or heat your home to a pre-selected temperature. Your home’s insulation helps to keep the heated or cooled air in your home, and keep outdoor temperatures out. Turning off your HVAC system every time you leave the house, especially in extreme temperatures, makes your system work harder and against your insulation to get your house to the appropriate temperature. A better idea is to adjust your thermostat by 5 to 10 degrees when you leave. If you have a programmable thermostat, this is even easier, because your thermostat will automatically adjust to those temperatures. If you have it set to 88 degrees during the day, for example, you can set it to start lowering as you’re leaving work. Your home will be the perfect temperature when you get home!

Myth #2 Setting your fan to “On” is better than “Auto”.

Your HVAC system comes with those two settings, ‘on’ and ‘auto’, but many aren’t sure of the difference since both keep your house cool. “On” is exactly what it sounds like; even after your home has reached your ideal temperature, the fan stays on, circulating that air around your home. It sounds good, but keeping your system switched “on” is a great way to run up your energy bill and wear out your system faster. We recommend keeping your unit set to “auto” in many cases, which will run the fan to circulate air until it reaches the designated temperature. The fan will then run periodically to maintain that temperature.

If you’re wondering what the “on” setting is good for now, don’t worry! It does have some specific case uses. If you need to drastically change the temperature of your home, “on” can help move the air faster, to make you more comfortable. It can also be good for allergy sufferers, since it will circulate the air more regularly, moving allergens into your HEPA filters. Finally, it’s also great when vacuuming. Since vacuuming kicks up a lot of dust, using this setting while cleaning will help that dust move into the filter- instead of settling back onto your floor!

Myth #3 Closing air vents will save you money.

This is something we see a lot of. If you close off vents to a room in your home, you won’t be heating or cooling that room, so you’ll save money, right? Actually closing off air vents can cost you more money. When you close off vents, you’re preventing air from escaping the vents, which build up pressure on those closed vents. The air pressure and subsequent attempts to recirculate that air actually make your system work harder to cool your home. Keep your vents open!

Myth #4 Having a service subscription is a waste of money.

This is absolutely not true! Just imagining the inconvenience, frustration, and repair costs when your system goes out unexpectedly (and it always goes out when you need it most!) should be enough to convince you otherwise. The cost of most service agreements are marginal when compared to the costs of having to replace your unit when it goes out. Most issues that call for the entire unit to be replaced can be avoided with regularly scheduled maintenance to your HVAC unit.

Bring on the FALL

With cooling temperatures, fall is a great time to tackle some home maintenance tasks that you may have been putting off. Getting these done now will help you get ahead of holiday crunch-time and bad winter weather; once you’ve checked these off your list, you’ll be able to enjoy your fall weekends guilt-free!

Prepare your home for Winter Outdoors…

As much as fall is about getting some holiday decorations and events underway, it’s also the time to inspect the interior and exterior of your home. Outside, look for any cracks in the foundation, or openings around windows, doors, and where pipes and wires enter your home. Caulking is an inexpensive fix, but can save you a lot of money from air leaking in or out of your home. This is also the time to clear away any dead tree branches or shrubbery before a winter storm comes to knock them into your home. Since plants go into winter hibernation, fall is a great time to prune without damaging any of your favorite foliage.

hand for the Indoors…

This is the time to get your holiday decorations up and get a head start on your event planning. Decor items like pumpkins and gourds and fall flowers work all season long, so you won’t have to switch out any decorations between Halloween and Thanksgiving. If decor inspiration is what you seek, MidWest Living  has some easy projects to get you started.

Prepare for Winter Emergencies

While we hope you never have to face any winter emergencies, you should always be prepared. October is National Fire Prevention month, so use that as a yearly reminder to ensure all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke dampers are fully-functional. Smoke dampers are placed into your HVAC system and in the event of a fire, close off ducts to prevent smoke from spreading throughout the house. Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher on hand, and check your home for radon gas, which can come from the soil and rock beneath your home and potentially cause cancer. With windows and doors shut all winter, this could build up in your home. Learn more about radon from Houzz.

While you’re checking your safety devices, take the time to schedule your furnace’s routine maintenance before the weather gets too cold. It’ll save your time before our technicians get too busy, but it’ll also save you from facing a cold-weather HVAC emergency. We always suggest having your furnace and HVAC systems’ inspected regularly to keep cost low and ensure your system is operating at max efficiency as much as possible.

We have maintenance plans as low as $15/mo. that can keep your home or business HVAC system operating smoothly. Finally, you should check your winter preparedness kits in your home and car in case of a storm. If you don’t have kits, here are some good ideas for what should be in your car and your home.

Make the most of fall and winter but make sure your AC unit and furnace are up to the tasks by giving us a call at 812-858-4000! BNG serves the heating and cooling needs of Evansville, Boonville, Newburgh, and Richland in Indiana.

Maximizing your HVAC unit’s efficiency while saving money

If there were a magic thermostat, keeping your house comfortable and your energy bill low would be easy. This thermostat would know to anticipate your every move, knowing when you come and go, tracking outdoor humidity levels and watching the calendar to adjust by one degree with every half rotation of the Earth. Without that, most of us just rely on common sense. When it’s hot outside, indoor should be cool. When it’s cold, making your home warmer is essential.

While the magical thermostat doesn’t exist, the key is the same: Your home should be the most comfortable for you. There is absolutely no point in having an HVAC unit if you’re going to sweat all summer or freeze all winter. For most people, this means a daytime temperature of 70 to 75 degrees, and a nighttime temperature of 65 to 72 degrees. The keys to saving money on your energy bill are directly related to these temperature ranges, but in ways you may not know. Setting your thermostat to the top of the day range will be cheaper, especially during peak AC usage hours (3PM to 7PM), but again, it’s all about comfort. Don’t sacrifice your comfort in an effort to try to save a few bucks; just a 1 degree temperature increase can save you money.

At night, feel free to lower that temperature. Your HVAC systems actually does less work at night (meaning a lower bill for you!) You can turn it down without spending more since your unit doesn’t have to fight against the sun or warmer outdoor temperatures to maintain the lower indoor temperature.

In the winter months, the ideal range is between 60 and 65 degrees. During winter months, it’s easy to throw on another layer. The main concern with your home’s or business’s indoor winter temperature is keeping your home above freezing to prevent your pipes from freezing, so if it’s possible to keeping your home between 50 and 55 degrees for 7 or 8 hours a day, you can save you 30% on your bill.

While you may have heard some of that before, one of the biggest questions we get about heating and cooling your home is about leaving your HVAC system on while you’re away from home.

You probably turn off your air conditioning while you’re on vacation in summer or turn off thefurnace when you head to the slopes in winter; as you should anytime you leave home for more than 24 hours. However, turning your systems on and off while you’re gone for shorter amounts of time, particularly during very hot or very cold weather, can actually end up costing you more money!

It may sound counterintuitive to leave your unit running during the day, but think about your home’s construction. Each home is insulated to help maintain the internal temperature, and prevent extreme outdoor temps from sneaking in. If you turn it off while you leave on a hot day, and then turn it back on, it can take your unit hours to get through the insulation. Your unit will be working to cool a higher temperature for a longer amount of time, costing you more!

If you’re looking to save money and energy, let’s revisit those temperature ranges from above.

  • In the summer, boost your AC between 5 and 8 degrees above your ideal temperature.
  • In the winter, lower your heater between 5 and 8 degrees below your idea temperature.
  • Only turn the unit off if you’ll be gone for more than 24 hours.

Hopefully this will help you make the best decisions for your comfort and AC bill until the magical self-assessing and operating HVAC unit is invented! If you have more questions about insulation, updating your HVAC system, regular maintenance or just how to better optimize your unit, call BNG. We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, or your money back.