What Is The Estimated Lifespan Of Your HVAC?

Learn estimated lifespan of an AC heater unit. Discover the importance of AC repair and service, also when to consider HVAC replacement with Sandium. Visit us now!

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
What Is The Estimated Lifespan Of Your HVAC?

 Air conditioner of new home. All colors are global. A clipping path was used to isolate the back section of the home with air conditioner. File type - EPS 10.[/caption]Considering how costly new HVAC systems are, it makes sense to ensure your existing unit lasts for as long as possible – certainly in the age of high energy costs and inflation. The average lifespan of an HVAC system is between 15 and 25 years, though this estimate might vary greatly depending on the system's type and other influencing factors. Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated HVAC systems will eventually break down at some point, despite regular upkeep and upgrades.

According to the US DoE, the typical lifespan of an HVAC unit is between 15 and 20 years. Pertaining to this, there are a few things to consider when determining whether or not your HVAC system needs to be replaced. The lifespan also varies according to the indoor and outdoor settings. For examples, homes along the coast, such as the Bay Area, may be more susceptible to corrosion of the HVAC unit.

Estimated Lifespan of an HVAC Unit

The type of HVAC device affects how long it lasts. The following are the typical life expectancies for standard HVAC equipment:

  • As was previously said, most air conditioners endure 15 to 20 years, although some only last 10 years. They often only endure seven to 12 years in coastal cities due to salt intrusion. Both HVAC systems and heat pumps are typically replaced if the compressor breaks down, or the condenser suffers from significant corrosion and leaks.
  • With proper maintenance, gas furnaces can last between 20 and 30 years or longer. As one of the most crucial and expensive components, the heat exchanger is often replaced when it leaks in a furnace. Systems that are poorly maintained or of questionable quality may only last ten years. With that said, oil furnaces typically survive between ten and fifteen years because of problems with ineffective fuel maintenance.
  • Boilers can last anywhere between 20 and 35 years, which is a substantially longer lifespan than furnaces.
  • Depending on how often they are used, heat pumps can last between 10 and 20 years, though 15 years is more typical.
  • In terms of functioning, heat pumps are comparable to ACs, but because they can provide cooling and heating, they are typically used for an extended period each year. Heat pumps are also susceptible to premature failure in coastal environments.
  • Ductless mini-splits provide heating and cooling, and they have a typical lifespan of 10 to 30 years, except in coastal areas.

HVAC Repair or Replacement- Which is Better?

Although these are the most typical life cycles, many homeowners choose to replace their HVAC systems sooner. The unit may lose stability and functionality as it ages, increasing maintenance and utility bills.

Once your HVAC unit is 10 to 15 years old, the monthly energy savings from converting to a newer, more efficient model will also cover the original expenditure, especially if the existing system is ineffective or has significant issues. You will find several energy-efficient systems on the market that will perform well, while reducing your utility bills each month. It's best to consult an HVAC expert and get their opinion on whether you should repair or replace an aging system. They will inspect the unit and provide their objective view, helping you make an informed decision about a new, advanced, energy-efficient unit. 

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