If you own a home built in 1978, that home is now forty-years old.
If the central heat and air system has not be replaced, it is also forty-years old.
According to http://ceedirectory.org/site/302/Air-Conditioning-and-Heat-Pump-Efficiency-101, the average lifespan of a central air conditioning system is 12 to 15 years.
I see forty-year old systems that are still running all the time. To say the least, these units are on their last leg.
These systems go out all the time, even when they are well maintained.
And most times, tenants don’t change out filters nearly often enough. Many time they are just filthy.
Does Your Property Management Company Hire a Heat and Air Contractor? Or, do they have a Heat and Air Technician on Staff?
Rule one for any property management company is to have a good heat and air company or dedicated technician at their beckoning call. If that property management company relies on a contractor, they are almost certainly paying too much for the service. That’s why we have had a dedicated heat and air technician on our staff for years.
When a system goes down in the middle of the summer, you need someone to fix it immediately. Or, you need to change out the system.
Rule two for property management companies that hire a contractor is to have at least one back up. That is because something always seems to happen to delay contractor at the worst possible time. They get busy on somebody else’s projects, or the go to the lake. That’s another reason why we have a dedicated technician – so they are ready to go to work for us when we need them.
Keep a close eye on those old central heat and air systems that are on their last leg.
R-22 versus R-410A. What is the difference?
The EPA spearheaded required a change from the old Freon (R-22) to a new type of Freon (R-410A). The problem is that the new Freon doesn’t work in the older systems.
If you have an R-22 system that is in good shape, there is an affordable replacement for R-22. If your system just needs to be charged up, your heat and air guy can just pump in the R-22 replacement product.
What if you have one of those forty-year old system in which the condensing unit goes out or the coils start leaking (the two most common problems)? You have to completely change out all the old equipment to R-410A systems.
If you are trying to understand some of the terms used here, this short video clip makes it clear how a central heat and air system (called a split system) works:
However, if the air handling unit (the heater portion of the central heat and air system) is still in good shape, you don’t have to replace it.
But if you are talking about a forty-year old system, the best thing is to replace the whole system, including the air handling unit.
So, anytime one of the older R-22 systems needs a significant amount of work, it’s worth considering whether or not to tear out that old junk and switch to the newer R-410A systems.