How Long Do Home Heating & Cooling Systems Last?

Even the best heating and cooling systems will reach the end of their service life eventually. However, their expected lifespans can be shortened or prolonged depending on certain factors. In today’s post, local air conditioning and heating service contractor Reliable AC & Heat discusses how long heating and cooling systems last and the factors that affect them.


How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?

Heating and cooling systems have different expected lifespans depending on their type. Gas furnaces typically last 20 to 30 years, or until the heat exchanger starts leaking. Oil furnaces usually have a shorter expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years because of the inefficient fuel. Boilers generally have longer lifespans and can last up to 35 years.

Whole-home air conditioners typically last 15 to 20 years. Since heat pumps double as air conditioners, they’re used for more of the year and therefore have relatively shorter expected lifespans. Ductless mini-split air conditioners can last up to 30 years, while heat pump versions of the same systems also have shorter lifespans.

Factors That Affect HVAC System Lifespans

It’s important to note the use of the word “expected” in relation to heating and air conditioning system lifespans. Any system may fail earlier than expected or exceed their expected lifespan based on the following factors:

Local conditions — Homes in coastal areas are exposed to “salt air” that causes corrosion and, for HVAC systems, premature failure.

Poor maintenance — HVAC systems are exposed to daily wear, which means they require regular maintenance performed by an HVAC professional. Poor maintenance — or the complete lack of it — can also result in a voided warranty.

Incorrectly-sized system — An undersized HVAC system will run at full capacity at all times, which can result in premature failure. HVAC professionals can help ensure proper sizing when a homeowner buys a new unit. However, a unit can become undersized if the home’s floor area is changed, which usually occurs when a home addition is installed.

Improper usage — HVAC systems work best in sealed environments. Running them with the windows open, or setting the temperatures extremely low or high, can increase the strain on the system.

Call Reliable AC & Heat for Your Heating and Cooling Needs

Reliable AC & Heat is your leading provider of HVAC services, including indoor air quality testing. Give us a call at (818) 698-2796. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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