How Long Should Your HVAC System Last?

Air conditioning units are designed to last an average of 15-20 years. Learn how local weather conditions & maintenance can affect its longevity & when it might be time for an upgrade.

How Long Should Your HVAC System Last?

Air conditioning units are designed to provide a comfortable environment for your home for an average of 15 to 20 years. However, this is not always the case. If you don't maintain your HVAC unit with regular maintenance, its lifespan may be significantly shorter. The longevity of an HVAC system depends on local weather conditions and the time you spend taking care of it.

Even if you have a few years left in the heating and cooling system, if the air quality in your home deteriorates, or if your air conditioner or boiler smells regularly when turned on, it's time to switch to a cleaner, healthier air conditioning system, such as an electric heat pump with an air source. HVAC maintenance service will involve checking, cleaning, adjusting and replacing these and other parts. It's much more expensive to neglect a home's HVAC system, and it's much smarter to maintain it and save money annually. The type of configuration you use plays an important role in how long your air conditioning system lasts, but you'll also need to consider the median lifespan of the unit.

As a reminder, the median is the intermediate number of a data set, not the average, which can be biased by data points from HVAC units that last a shorter or longer period of time than normally expected. It is also recommended to use a professional HVAC service at least twice a year for system maintenance and overhaul. To find out if your air conditioner uses R-22, check the detailed information on the condensing unit, the manual for your appliance, or call an HVAC professional. Improved attic insulation and professional air sealing combine to create a powerful thermal barrier that prevents the air conditioning system from wearing out too soon and keeps you from paying your hard-earned money to heat and cool the outside. Air conditioning technology has come a long way and the energy efficiency of your home is affected simply by keeping the older air conditioning technology, so it may be time to think about a replacement even if it “continues to work well”. This keeps up all the hard work your HVAC system does to keep indoor air healthy and comfortable and in good shape. While most HVAC systems last 10 to 15 years, it's important for the homeowner to maintain the system.

An air conditioning system is a large but essential investment to keep you and your family comfortable all year round. Now that you have a better idea of how long HVAC units last on average, let's see how to know when it might be time to upgrade them.

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