When we’re consulting with clients on new HVAC installation, one thing we are always asked is, “How long will my HVAC unit last?” It’s an important question when considering this sort of investment. The majority of industry companies and organizations agree that most heating and cooling systems will last between 12 to 25 years. But there are always exceptions to the average.
Variables that affect how long your HVAC system will last
HVAC systems can last longer or shorter based on a number of different factors or variables, including:
- Manufacturer brand
- Run-time hours per day
- How well maintained the system is over each year
- Whether any major repairs or retrofits have been made
- Which type of heating or cooling system you’re using (for example, furnaces usually last longer than outdoor AC units)
- Environmental factors, such as salt air, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur, chemicals, and corrosive contaminants play a role in a system’s life expectancy
What are the life expectancies of different HVAC systems?
As mentioned above, depending on which heating and cooling system you install, you can expect a different relative lifespan. Let’s take a look at what the average life expectancies are for each type of system.
- Furnaces: 12- 20 years
- Outdoor air conditioning units: 12-20 years
- Heat pump/cooling system: 12-20 years
- Boilers (electric): 15 years
- Boilers (steel water-tube/fire tube): 15-20 years
- Boilers (cast iron): 30-35 years
- Ventilation/ductwork: Nearly lifetime
- Thermostats: 12-20 years
- Humidifiers/dehumidifiers: 8-10 years
Also mentioned above, major repairs or replacement parts could extend a system’s life expectancy. If you’re moving into a new home and the previous owners have made a recent replacement, you’ll have a better idea of how much longer your home’s HVAC system has.
How to extend the life of your HVAC system
Getting as many years as possible out of your HVAC system requires adequate maintenance and optimal efficiency. Those who schedule bi-annual inspections and maintenance appointments for their systems avoid having to replace their HVAC system as early.
During professional maintenance, your HVAC technician cleans your unit to help it operate more efficiently; measures voltage and current on equipment motors and tightens any loose connections; lubricates moving parts; and checks fuel lines, fans, blowers, compressors, drainage lines, refrigerant levels, and all other aspects of operation.
A great way to ensure the efficiency of your HVAC system is to install a programmable thermostat. You can set your heating and cooling usage to reflect the times when you are home and times when you’re away for extended periods. You can also use a programmable thermostat to control the different areas of your home for extra efficiency and comfort. According to EnergyStar, this can save you approximately $180 every year.
Replacing your heating or cooling unit for efficiency increases
HVAC efficiency is of top concern for homeowners. That’s because heating and cooling accounts for as much as half of a home’s energy expenditures. While systems can last for 12 to 30 years, depending on what sort of system you’re using, many homeowners decide to upgrade or replace their system before it has completely kicked the bucket. That’s because there has been much advancement in terms of equipment energy efficiency.
It’s valuable to speak with an honest and experienced HVAC technician about your system’s current operation and efficiency level. They will ensure all other options, such as air leaks, are addressed before making a recommendation for system replacement.
However, depending on several factors, replacing your older heating and cooling equipment with highly energy-efficient options can cut your yearly energy bill by more than $115. Add that onto a programmable thermostat and you’ll save nearly $300 per year, or $25 per month.
Get on an HVAC maintenance plan
A great way to ensure you end up receiving the necessary maintenance to extend the life of your HVAC unit is to get on an HVAC maintenance plan with your local heating and cooling company; there’s no need to add an extra task or reminder to your already busy schedule and to-do list. Your HVAC company will ensure your system stays operational for years to come.
If you’d like to take advantage of CJS Heating and Air’s experienced technicians, as well as ensure your comfort with our 24-hour emergency availability, simply give us a call. We work on all makes and models of HVAC equipment and can advise you on how to remain efficient and get the most out of your system.
Call (614) 388-9241 today to learn more!