How Long do HVAC Systems Last

Prolonging the Life of Your HVAC System

People often ask how long their HVAC systems will last. It’s a natural question, especially since these setups often cost thousands of dollars. There are variables according to brand, location, and installation, but for the most part, the answer is the same: How long your HVAC lasts depends entirely upon how much effort you put into its maintenance.

How to Maintain an HVAC

While it’s always a good idea to consult a professional for repairs or serious work, there are many things that you can do as a homeowner to extend the life of your unit. Make sure to:

    • Regularly change the filter. When these filters become clogged with debris and particles, they restrict airflow to the unit. This makes the unit work harder, and the increased workload causes the equipment to strain much more than it should, thus reducing the longevity of the machine. Dirty filters reduce the system’s efficiency, which can be reflected in your power bill. Filters should be changed about every one to three months, and you should always use the filter recommended by the manufacturer.  
    • Keep the unit free from debris. Leaves, sticks, and other materials can find their way inside the machine and cause serious problems. Make a habit of checking on the system and removing any matter you see whenever you’re outside. Having a clear view of the unit will allow you to keep a closer eye on it. Check the area around the unit is free from debris will make it easier to prevent materials from falling into the machine.
    • Do visual inspections. Can you see holes in the coils or on the outside of the unit? Is anything cracked or showing signs of wear? Being familiar with the hardware can help you spot potential problems earlier. You may notice a hole before much refrigerant is actually lost.
    • Schedule routine maintenance.  Be mindful of setting up yearly inspection appointments for your unit. HVAC contractors usually offer full-service calls and often are able to clean the systems.

How Long You Can Expect Your System to Work

As we said before, this depends largely on you, the homeowner. There are some averages you can use as estimates. A modern machine subject to no maintenance will last approximately 15 to 18 years. Little maintenance (doing a couple things from the above list) leads to 18 – 20 year lifespans, while the high side of the spectrum (4-plus maintenance items), a system can last more than 25 years.

Simple acts like cleaning debris and scheduling checkups can result in your unit lasting a decade or more longer than it would without interference. Just like your car or the rest of your home, regular care and attention to detail will leave your HVAC system running longer and more dependably than ever.

If you need help keeping your HVAC system maintained, contact the experts at AC Engineers. We know just what it takes to keep your heating or cooling unit running efficiently and prolong the life of your HVAC system.


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