It makes sense that you desire to use your home's heating or cooling system as much as possible to save money. Many factors affect the lifespan of HVAC systems. Even the best heat pump and air conditioners, the best boilers and furnaces, along with the best maintenance methods, will lose their effectiveness over time. Most HVAC systems usually can last about 15 to 25 years.

The average lifespan of different HVAC system elements

Air conditioners: The average lifespan of most air conditioners ranges from about 15 to 20 years. However, air conditioners in coastal areas usually last between 7 and 12 years as they exposure to salt. When the compressor breaks down or the condenser suffers considerable leakage or corrosion, air conditioning, and heat pumps should be replaced.

Furnaces: The lifespan of gas furnaces with appropriate maintenance is usually 20 to 30 years. The furnace should be replaced when the heat exchanger begins to leak because it is one of the most important and costly parts. Inadequately maintained or poor quality systems may last only 10 years, while oil furnaces normally last 10 to 15 years, due to maintenance difficulties yielded by weak fuel.

Ductless Mini Splits: ductless mini splits are able to provide heating and cooling with an average lifespan of 10 to 30 years, excluding coastal regions.

Heat pumps: heat pumps can endure between 10 and 20 years, relying on the frequency of use. Heat pumps are functionally analogous to air conditioners, but as they can offer heating and cooling, they are normally utilized longer each year. Heat pumps in coastal regions have a shorter lifespan and usually last between 7 and 12 years.

Boilers: The lifespan of boilers is usually longer than furnaces, and they can last between 20 and 35 years. If the heat exchanger leaks, boilers must be replaced.

Nevertheless, many owners of properties may decide to replace their air conditioning system sooner because over time, the efficiency and effectiveness of the system will decrease, and the costs of repairs and electricity bill will increase. If a system has been in operation for 10-15 years and has major drawbacks and high maintenance costs, it is often more cost-effective to purchase a newer, more efficient model.

Factors affecting the lifespan of an HVAC system


One of the factors of wear and corrosion of copper is the penetration of chemicals used for house cleaning into air conditioning parts. This is referred to as off-gassing and the chemicals free particles into the air. This cause higher cost and reduced lifetime of parts and units.

Enlargement of the unit

If you buy a too large unit for the house, it might cause the cycling to turn off and on. This will wear out the components quicker and yield the blower motor to fail.

Coastal regions

If you live near a coastal region or own a house in that region, you may see that your unit has a shorter lifespan because the salty air causes the unit to corrode. As a result, it yields more repairs and also the replacement of the device.

Not maintaining the unit

Failure to appropriately maintain the air conditioning unit can cause a shorter lifespan and more rapid wear of parts. The air conditioning maintenance should be performed in the spring in a way the system can be prepared for the heat of summer and the freezing temperatures of winter. Depending on where you live, the adjustment should be done approximately 2 times in a year.

Why HVAC maintenance is important?

Air conditioning maintenance is valuable for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is that it increases the lifespan of your system and can reduce your bills. By performing regular maintenance on your HVAC-R systems, you can save on repair costs. You can have a more efficient system and save energy because worn and dirty components cause your system to work more.  Besides, maintenance will make your air conditioning system in excellent condition and provides you with better indoor air quality.

How should an HVAC system be maintained?

Inspection: Various parts including contactors, capacitors, condenser coils, ductwork, electrical wiring links, heat exchanger, service valves, and fan blades should be inspected.  It should also be checked that there is no smell coming from the HVAC unit.

Cleaning: When cleaning an HVAC unit, the outdoor unit should be cleaned of leaves, debris, and grime. In addition, various parts of the HVAC system, including evaporator coils, condenser coils, drain lines, drain pans, etc., as well as the filters, must be cleaned.

Replacement: Carbon monoxide batteries should be replaced yearly, while the air filter should be replaced monthly. In addition, components such as belts and pulleys that are subject to wear and tear may require to be replaced.

Lubrication: Lubrication of various parts is very important during maintenance because there are many moving components inside an air conditioning unit. If components are not suitably lubricated, it can cause parts to wear and grind, which can cause serious damage to the HVAC system.

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