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How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?

November 22, 2021

An HVAC unit is an essential piece of equipment for most people since it not only regulates the temperature in the home but also improves the air quality. However, many people who already have an HVAC system or plan to install one often don’t know how long HVAC systems last. 

Considering the importance of the unit to daily life, it’s worth knowing its expected lifespan and factors that affect its longevity.

How Long Do HVAC Systems Last on Average?

HVAC systems come in different types, which also means they have their own life expectancies. Here are their average lifespans per type:

  • Air Conditioners: Used for cooling indoor spaces, an AC unit can ideally last between 15 to 20 years.

  • Furnace: A furnace heats your home up using gas, oil, or electricity. If kept in good shape, you can expect it to last around 20 to 30 years. 

  • Boilers: A boiler uses hot water or steam to heat the home. It also can last around the same amount of time that furnaces do. 

  • Heat Pumps: A Heat pump can be used for both cooling and heating your home. Its average life expectancy is about 15 years. 

Factors Affecting Your HVAC System’s Lifespan

How long do HVAC units last also depends on several factors, including: 

Run Time

Just like with most other appliances, an HVAC unit will experience wear and tear faster if it’s used more frequently. An air conditioner that only runs around 5 hours a day won’t have as much strain put on its parts compared to an AC that’s running 24/7. 

Their Working Condition

An HVAC unit that gets used frequently would still be able to keep running for a long time as long as its parts are kept in good condition. If a system doesn’t get any rest nor does it get any maintenance work done, it would only be a matter of time before it completely breaks down. 

Your Location

Another key factor in your HVAC system’s lifespan is where you live. If you’re in a primarily hot climate, you’ll likely use your cooling systems more often. The same goes for heating units in cold climates. 

A dry and dusty environment would also get more dust and dirt into your units, clogging up the parts. Meanwhile, living by the coast or any area close to saltwater (like the Great Salt Lake) can also shorten your HVAC system’s life. Salt is a highly corrosive substance and can damage your units much faster if they’re constantly exposed to it. 

How to Prolong Your HVAC Unit’s Life

1. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

A programmable thermostat gives you more control over how your HVAC system runs during the day. For instance, you can have it automatically switch to a lower setting or completely turn off on hours when there’s no one home. This helps ensure that your units aren’t working unnecessarily hard. 

2. Keep the HVAC Unit Clean 

A dirty HVAC unit is less efficient because it clogs up the filters and other parts, preventing air from flowing as freely. It forces the system to work harder just to cool or heat your home according to the thermostat settings. Regular cleanings will help the HVAC unit circulate air throughout your home more effectively.

3. Maintain the System Regularly

The best way to avoid untimely replacements is to maintain the HVAC system regularly. Scheduling routine sessions with your trusted HVAC technician will help ensure that your unit stays clean. The professional will also tune the parts up and inspect for any other issues that your units have before they worsen. 

Keep Your HVAC Running with Superior Water & Air

How long HVAC systems last depends not only on the type you have and where you live but also on how well you take care of them. Unfortunately, not everyone has the know-how to maintain their units. But when you have an HVAC professional helping you out, you can keep your systems running for more years to come. 
Superior Water & Air has served homeowners throughout Utah since the 1950s. Our service areas also include parts of Colorado and Idaho. Besides our HVAC services, we also provide for our customers’ water and emergency plumbing needs. To schedule an appointment with us, you can call 801-559-7381 anytime! We’re open 24/7 for you.

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