How Long Should an HVAC System Last on Average?

June 20, 2022
HVAC Lifespan in Olathe, KS

Replacing or installing a new HVAC system can be an expensive proposition. Depending on the type and quality of the equipment, you could easily be looking at spending several thousand dollars to $10,000 or more. As a result, you may be wondering how long you can expect your HVAC system to last before needing to have it replaced. For this reason, we have put together this guide to help you understand the average lifespans for different types of HVAC equipment and also the various factors that can influence how long your equipment lasts.

Expected Lifespan for Heating and Cooling Equipment

The typical lifespan of an HVAC system is usually somewhere between 15 and 20 years on average. However, different types of equipment tend to have different expected lifespans, and the lifespan can also vary based upon the quality of the manufacturer. For central air conditioning systems, the typical lifespan is usually between 10 and 20 years, whereas furnaces tend to last for anywhere from 20 to 30 years. Heat pumps generally have the shortest lifespan of any HVAC equipment at around 10 to 15 years. This is because they are usually used throughout much of the year since the same unit provides both heating and cooling.

Factors That Can Impact the Lifespan of Your HVAC Equipment

One of the biggest determining factors in how long you can expect your HVAC system to last is the local climate. In places like Kansas that frequently experience hotter, more humid summer weather, your air conditioning system generally won’t last nearly as long as it would if you lived in a milder, northern climate.

The reason for this should be fairly obvious since the hotter the weather is, the more your air conditioner will have to run to keep your home cooled. This results in greater wear and tear on its components that can eventually cause the unit to break down. The same is also true for heating systems as a furnace will obviously last longer if it runs less frequently during the summer.

Climate also has another effect on people living in coastal areas. In these areas, air conditioners usually have a maximum lifespan of seven to 12 years. The reason for this is all of the salt in the area, which can quickly corrode the AC unit’s components.

The brand of equipment is also an important factor. If you choose a high-quality unit from a reputable manufacturer, you can pretty much be guaranteed that it will last far longer than if you skimped on a cheaper unit from some lesser-known company. It generally never makes sense to choose equipment from anything other than a major brand name. Sure, you might save some money upfront by opting for the cheaper equipment, but you will likely end up spending more money in the long run due to increased repair costs and a potentially drastically reduced lifespan.

The Importance of Annual Maintenance

While the above factors are definitely important, probably the biggest determining factor in how long your HVAC system will last is how well you take care of it. If you neglect to have your system regularly inspected or maintained, it is unlikely that you’ll ever get much more than 10 or maybe 15 years at the most before needing to have it replaced.

Scheduling an annual maintenance appointment for your heating and cooling systems is essential for preserving the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. For the best results, you should have your cooling system inspected and maintained every spring and your heating system maintained each fall. Doing so can not only help ensure that the system is ready to go before the worst of the heat or cold sets in, but it also allows you to identify and repair any issues that could affect the effectiveness of the system or potentially shorten its lifespan.

A maintenance appointment includes a full inspection of all components of your heating or cooling system to ensure there are no issues that need to be repaired. This includes not only the heating or cooling equipment itself but also your thermostat and ductwork. Issues like leaking, damaged or improperly installed ductwork can be a major problem that can cause your system to work overtime and potentially break down much sooner. Making sure to be diligent about having your system professionally maintained each year is the easiest way to protect the lifespan of your equipment, and it can also improve your home comfort and reduce your energy costs by ensuring that the system works as efficiently and effectively as it should.

If you’re considering replacing your old heating or cooling equipment, or you’re in need of HVAC maintenance or repairs, the experienced technicians at Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling are always here to help. We service all makes and models of HVAC equipment, and our team is available 24/7 for emergency repairs. As well, we are a Lennox Premier Dealer, and we always provide free estimates for all new equipment purchases and installation. Contact us today if you have any questions or need to schedule a service appointment in Olathe, KS.

company icon