One of the most expensive, yet important parts of the home is your home’s HVAC system. You rely on it to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Without HVAC systems, Midwestern living would be a lot more difficult.
However, your HVAC system doesn’t last forever. The AC unit starts to bust leaks. The furnace’s blower stops working properly. Repair costs start to mount, and eventually, you need to replace large swathes of your HVAC system in order to get it running at top efficiency again.
It’s rare for the entire HVAC system to fail, and typically most people will not replace an entire HVAC system except in cases of home rehab. It’s usually components that fail. So how long do the most important components of an HVAC system last?
How long do furnaces and other heating units last?
Furnace life expectancy: 15 to 25 years
Furnaces last a long time. Gas furnaces tend to have slightly longer life expectancies than electric furnaces, however both can last.
If your furnace was sized correctly for your home, you should expect it to last longer as it won’t be working too hard to keep your home comfortable. Get furnace maintenance done every 3 years.
Heat pump life expectancy: 16 Years
A heat pump runs all the time, and thus will tend to have a lower life expectancy than a furnace. Get your heat pump maintained every year, and have your HVAC technician do a cleaning as well
How long do AC units last?
Air conditioning unit life expectancy: 10-15 years
Size your AC correctly for your home and it will last a long time, possibly longer than 15 years.
If you have an AC older than 15 years old, it’s recommended that you replace it with a high-efficiency unit to lower overall costs.
How long do water heaters last?
Tankless water heater life expectancy: 20 years
Tankless water heater longevity highly depends on the contents of the water. If your water has large amounts of sediment or is particularly hard, your tankless unit will not last as long. To maximize longevity, do regular maintenance on your tankless unit every 3 years.
Electric or gas water heater life expectancy: 10 years
Maintain your water heater by flushing out the tank every year or so. Just like with a tankless unit, you want to get maintenance done every 3 years.
The type of fuel should not affect how often you need to replace it, however electrical components can fail.
Thermostat life expectancy: 25 years
Thermostats can last a long time. These days, traditional thermostats are starting to go out of vogue in favor of programmable and “smart” thermostats for connected homes. Smart thermostats can save a substantial amount of money over their traditional counterparts, as it controls for occupancy and predicted weather.
Need to replace your HVAC system components? Choose high efficiency.
Why invest in high-efficient HVAC components? First, they use less energy and thus have a lower cost of operation. Second, the lowered energy usage contributes to a longer lifespan, so long as you keep up with your maintenance schedule.