How Long do HVAC Systems Last?

Posted on: December 16, 2018

Whenever a person has a new HVAC system installed, the question lingering in one's mind is usually how long will it last? The answer is it depends on how well it is maintained.

Many great manufacturers have gone into projecting how long a system should serve someone. Every manufacturer makes their products slightly different from the next one, meaning that certain products of the machine could last longer than others. This comes with the territory of purchasing a highly sought out machine.

A single poorly made part of the system could affect the life expectancy of the entire system. For instance; a poor quality compressor is likely to reduce the lifecycle of the entire system.

Most manufacturers assert that a proper quality system should last at least 15 years stretching all the way up to 25 years. The type of system and the quality of it also matters because this will determine how well it operates and maintains itself over the years. 

What are the factors that reduce HVAC lifespan?

There are many factors that can adversely affect the lifespan of the HVAC system. Some of these include;

Poor maintenance

An HVAC system as with all other systems needs proper maintenance to ensure that it functions correctly. Improper maintenance practices will affect the durability of the system and can cost a person a lot of money in repairs. This is not to mention the eventual cost of getting a new system ultimately. Be sure to maintain the system with great care to ensure that replacement is not needed for some time. 

Poor quality system

There are systems with low lifespans, and this is not because the owner is not taking good care of them but because the system was low quality in the first place. To ensure that a system is of high quality, be sure to do the proper research on the system beforehand.

Improper installation

A system can also suffer due to a lack of adherence to installation procedures. It is important that a person has a certified professional who will follow installation procedures religiously in order to install the HVAC system. This is as opposed to some handy guy from down the street. Improper installation is key in maintaining a long lasting system.

Poor usage

A system’s lifespan can be reduced by one half if the owners do not know how to properly use it. For instance; a cooling or heating system that is used when doors and windows are open is likely to have a shorter lifespan.

Installation area

HVAC systems struggle in corrosive and salty environments such as coastal regions. This reduces their lifespan considerably. Be sure to keep it guarded against areas that may be more vulnerable to salty or corrosive matters. 

High usage

As with any other system, high usage will wear it down. If you use your system all year and nonstop, its lifespan may decrease considerably.

Expected lifespans of HVAC systems


If properly maintained, gas furnaces can offer a service that lasts 20 to 30 years.


A well-maintained boiler will outlive a furnace that was installed at the same time. It should last 20 to 35 years.

Air conditioners

Air conditioners will typically last 15 to 20 years depending on how well they are maintained. In coastal areas though, where the conditions are a bit more corrosive and salty, the lifespan may be cut to 7-12 years.

Heat pumps

Heat pumps can offer solid service for about 10 to 20 years depending on usage frequency. They too are affected by coastal conditions as well, which tend to slash their lifespans.


HVAC systems can last a very long time so long as they are cared for properly. Regular inspections will ensure that they remain in good condition. If you still have questions about the maintenance and care of these systems, then give us a call today. We're happy to help! 

Request an appointment here: or call Jay Young Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning at (806) 783-8318 for an appointment in our Lubbock office.