Monday 15 March 2021

How Long Will My HVAC System Last?

Posted by at 12:17 PM

A functioning HVAC system is integral to the overall comfort of a home.  Overtime, though, you may start noticing problems.  The air conditioner blows hot air or just doesn’t seem to cool as well.  The furnace sounds like it’s running, but the house is still freezing.  You’re funneling more and more money into repairs, so when do you final decide that enough is enough? One of the first things you should look at is the life expectancy of your unit.

Furnace Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a furnace is about 15-25 years with a lot of variability depending on a lot of factors including whether you’re working with a gas or electric furnace or a heat pump.

  • The make and model of your unit will make a different.  Because of evolving technology, newer systems usually last longer.
  • Regular, high-quality maintenance will improve the efficiency of your furnace which will also increase its lifespan.
  • A professional installation will ensure a correct installation with the right parts and connections.  This will also increase the furnace’s efficiency.
  • A furnace that is the right size for home will run better and last longer.
  • Make sure that the ventilation system is also correct for the home and furnace and that it stays well-maintained.

Air Conditioner Life Expectancy

A central air system usually lasts around 15-20 years while a split unit system is closer to the 20-year mark and lasts longer on average than a central unit.  Window units can last between 10-25 years.  Like furnaces, the lifespan of your air conditioner is dependent on many factors.  The key factor to a longer life is efficiency. 

  • The make and model of the unit as well as the type of unit have a large impact on the average life expectancy.
  • Regular maintenance including filter changes and seasonal tune-ups will increase the efficiency of the system.
  • The climate where the system is installed will play a large role in its lifespan.  Climates with excessive heat and humidity mean that the unit is being run more often, so it won’t last nearly as long in a climate where it’s only being used a few months out of the year.
  • Like furnaces, air conditioning units should be correctly sized for the home.

Thermostat Life Expectancy

Part of the HVAC system that’s extremely important, but often overlooked, is the thermostat.  A good thermostat should last around ten years at which point it will often start malfunctioning due to old wiring or dust accumulation.  Many people often change their thermostats more often that this due to changes in technology like the advent of smart thermostats. 

Knowing the life expectancy of each part of your HVAC system will give you a good idea of when to repair the unit or when it’s time to start thinking of a replacement.