How long does an HVAC system last?

HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system provide heating or cooling (desired air conditions) to residential and commercial buildings.

HVAC units use fresh air from outside to deliver great indoor air quality. Moreover, it also prevents dirt, dust, bacteria, moisture, smoke, or other contaminants from entering the conditioned area.

Components of HVAC systems and their usage expectancy

Basic HVAC systems are composed of a thermostat, furnace, heat exchanger, air conditioning unit, heat pump, etc.

  • Thermostat:

    It functions as the brain of the HVAC unit and is expected to last for a very long time, up to 25 years.

  • Furnace:

    It is one of the main components of the unit. It heats the space by circulating hot air. You can expect the furnace to live about 15-20 years if the HVAC maintenance is done on time and the system is installed properly.

  • Air Conditioning Unit (refrigerant and condensing unit):

    Condensing unit's responsibility is to remove the heat absorbed by indoor air to the outside. And refrigerant lines help to condition the air to the desired requirement. It could generally last for 15 years but you can increase its life by doing maintenance twice a year.

  • Heat Pump:

    To provide heating or cooling to the specified area it uses mechanical energy to eliminate the heat from the air and transmit it to either inside or outside depending on the desired air condition. You can expect a heat pump to live about 15 years with proper yearly maintenance along with cleaning

Factors that affect the lifespan of your HVAC System:

The essential aspect that will define the lifespan of your HVAC system is HVAC maintenance. With proper maintenance, your system will surely perform for the longest possible time. The second thing is the installation. If your HVAC installation has been done by a skilled and qualified technician it is guaranteed that your system will last longer. Another factor you should be aware of is the ductwork, the ducts, and ventilation unit should be fixed properly and pipes are needed to seal in the right manner; it will enhance the quality of your HVAC system.

Several aspects can decrease the lifespan of HVAC equipment, including:

  • Inappropriate maintenance exercises.
  • Bad quality or faulty components.
  • Heavy usage or high loads.
  • Wrong usage, like heating or cooling with open doors and windows.
  • Installation in salty or corrosive environments, such as coastal regions.

How long will your HVAC system last?

Heating and cooling systems are basic facets today. It is a considerable purchase for home or commercial purposes.

An expected period for an HVAC system to survive is about 15-20 years depending on the model and components’ quality placed in it.

Yet with preventive maintenance and regular repairs, the components and the system could run over time.

If you lack in maintaining your air conditioner, no matter of brand or model it has, it will not survive more than 3-4 years.

It is also notable that the elements of your HVAC system retain their own lifespan. Following are the basic lifespan of the common HVAC components;

How RTU HVAC unit is different from other HVAC systems?

RTU HVAC systems are placed on the top, unlike other HVAC systems such as water-cooled chillers or split-system air conditioners that occupy indoor space.

A rooftop unit is different from other HVAC systems and incorporates all of its components needed for heating and cooling in a single panel that is why it is also termed a packaged unit. It uses ductwork to transmit the heated and cooled air to the different areas of building and is fitted with return openings to carry the air back into the system.

  • Furnace

    Your furnace could serve you up to three decades with proper maintenance. Usually, a furnace needs to get replaced when the heat exchanger starts leaking as it is one of the most expensive and significant components.

  • Heat Pump

    Heat pumps function like air conditioners but because they provide both heating and cooling, they tend to be used longer in a year. Heat pumps can last for 15-20 years depending on the frequency of usage and the brand. It needs to get replaced when the condenser or the compressor fails.

  • Boilers

    Boilers will survive slightly longer than your furnace with an ordinary lifespan of 20-35 years. Boilers will also get replaced when the heat exchanger starts to leak.

  • Air Conditioners

    Air conditioners can last 15-20 years. Like heat pumps, air conditioners are also replaced when the compressor fails or the condenser acquires significant corrosion and leaks

  • Ductless Mini-Split

    A ductless mini-split can also provide both heating and cooling to the specified area. It can last about 10-30 years depending on usage. As these are the most familiar life spans but as the system ages, it will deliberately become less durable and productive, and will increase the service, repair and utility costs. Once your system survives 15-20 years, it's a better option to upgrade it especially if it starts demanding more and more maintenance.

The ways that conditioned air can benefit you:

Comfort is all we are working hard for. Following are the ways that conditioned air helps you along with comfort.

  • Reduces the Risk of Heat Stroke

    The centers for disease control and prevention confided that “air conditioning is the guarding factor against heat-related sickness and death.”

  • Reduces Risk of Dehydration

    In extreme weather conditions, water intake increases, and insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration. Conditioned air will lower the chance of dehydration.

  • Better Sleep

    The cooler the conditions, the better we sleep. To have a really good morning we need to sleep sufficiently, for that a cooler atmosphere will stimulate us.

  • Improves Work Performance

    Without any discomfort from the hot climate, you can concentrate better on the work in an air-conditioned room.

  • Fewer Bacteria and Insects

    The HVAC system filters out the air to prevent bugs, insects, or bacteria from entering indoors. Hence it provides a healthy indoor environment.

  • Prevents Electronic Items from Overheating

    Heat can cause serious damage to electronics such as cutting short their lifespan to missing data.Air conditioning will support your electronic compliance to remain in good condition.


AJ Milbes

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