Ongoing discussions around the longevity of commercial HVAC systems are pretty widespread. Although advances in HVAC technology have prolonged the life cycle of practically every product in the marketplace, the frequency of repair and replacement of current systems is still high.

This raises the question of whether the manufacturer or the user is to blame for the current HVAC issues. While the answer to that question is complicated, knowing your system’s lifespan and the different maintenance strategies can help you determine your part in elongating your system’s lifespan.

Thus, apart from discussing the lifespan of HVAC systems, this post will also provide maintenance tips for optimal system performance.

What Is the Typical Expected Lifespan of A Commercial HVAC System?

The average life expectancy of an HVAC unit is between 15 and 20 years, but this varies depending on various factors. Some of them include:

Regular Service

If you want your HVAC system to last more than 20 years, it is imperative to ensure proper maintenance and inspections. Even the most well-constructed systems will fail without adequate maintenance before their maximum service lives.

Preventative maintenance, often completed on a schedule, is a prerequisite for longer life. For example, have Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow inspect and perhaps change your air filters every two months. Other preventative maintenance methods include cleaning the air ducts and other internal and external components of the system, repairing or replacing any damaged parts, and having a licensed HVAC technician do an annual inspection.

External Stressors

Climate and weather factors might affect the durability of an HVAC system on your property. In warmer areas, the air conditioner or heat pump may be profoundly affected. Whereas, in colder climates, the furnace will experience more significant wear and tear. Additionally, the intensity of particular use, whether in a cold or hot environment, might affect the longevity of an HVAC system.

It is important to mention that the chemicals given off by cleaning products and outgassing from new household materials like carpets or wood can also be your system’s stressors. These substances accelerate the deterioration of the indoor coils, particularly the copper ones. They can also cause rusting and deterioration.

Standard of Installation

Additionally, the quality or standard of installation will impact the longevity of your HVAC system. And so, ensuring that a trained and experienced HVAC technician installs the system is crucial.

With the reliable help of Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow, you can rest assured that your unit’s size is appropriate in relation to your ductwork’s and property’s size; both aspects, if not correctly considered, can reduce the lifespan of your l HVAC system.

Lifespan of Various HVAC Systems


A furnace, or sometimes a boiler, is used for heating. The difference between the two is that a boiler utilizes steam or hot water, whereas a furnace utilizes gas or oil.

The average lifespan of a furnace is between 15 and 25 years. However, Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow recommends replacing it when it starts leaking.

It is worth noting that proper installation and selecting a furnace size suitable for your home are crucial factors in determining the unit’s longevity. That’s why it’s essential to work with experts from the start.

On the other hand, a boiler has an average lifespan of 20 to 35 years. Similar to a furnace, we recommend replacing your boiler when its heat exchanger starts leaking.

The AC Unit

Your home’s air conditioning unit is located outside your property and has the appearance of a huge box having a fan inside.

Typically, air conditioning equipment has a 15-year lifespan. Yet, residential properties of coastal regions experience more rapid deterioration due to salt exposure. In these regions, an air conditioning unit may only last for seven to ten years.

Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow recommends replacing your AC when its compressor breaks. We also recommend replacing the condenser unit when it encounters serious issues such as corrosion or leaking.

Heat Pump

A heat pump extracts and transfers any ambient heat into your home when it’s cold outside. When it is hot, the opposite is true. It will remove any extra heat from your home and transfer it to the outdoors to help cool the interior.

The average lifespan of a heat pump is 16 years; however, it could fail after only ten. A heat pump in coastal areas could only last for about seven years.

Due to the heat pump’s year-round operation, its lifespan is shorter than many other components.

Ductless Mini-Splits

Ductless mini-split systems can heat or cool your home. They can endure between 10 and 30 years; however, they have a substantially shorter lifespan in coastal environments.


Your thermostat measures your indoor temperature. It enables your HVAC system to decide whether to heat or cool your home. On average, a thermostat can last for about 25 years.

Should You Replace or Repair

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether to repair or replace an HVAC component. If that’s your case, consider the two most vital issues:

Your Unit’s Age

If your unit’s expected remaining lifespan is less than five years, it is best to replace it. Once it reaches the end of its useful life, it will start breaking (piece by piece), which is likely the beginning of a series of issues. There is, however, one exception to this rule.

Even if your equipment is rather old, it may be worthwhile to repair a minor component that requires replacement. This (minor) refers to an item that costs less than $100.

What It Will Cost to Repair It

When deciding whether to replace or fix an HVAC system, always consider the cost. If the repair costs more than half of what a replacement would, you should replace it.

In this situation, it is not economically viable to repair. By undertaking such an expensive repair, you substantially reduce your return on investment (ROI). In addition to this, when large components start failing, additional problems frequently follow.

HVAC System Maintenance

Replace Your Air Filters

Depending on your home’s environment, you may need to replace your air filter every one to three months. This implies that if you have pets or a smoker in your household, it’s best if you replace it each month. Be sure to examine it once each month for blockage or clogs.

Clean Your Unit

Ensure that no grass or vegetation is growing into your unit. This may cause it to malfunction.

Clean Out Your Condensation Line

Do the following monthly: Pour a quarter cup of vinegar down the drain. Then, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then clear it out. This will eliminate dangerous bacteria, sludge, mold, and algae.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Always ensure that your indoor temperature is colder than the outdoor temperature.

Work With Experts

Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular maintenance and inspection to increase your unit’s lifespan. We provide replacement, installation, repair, and maintenance services for heat pumps, gas furnaces, air conditioners, mini-split systems, and intelligent systems in Vancouver, BC. We also off all-inclusive air quality services, including auditing your office or home to recommend the most suitable air purification. Call Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow to schedule a service today.

Western Pacific Heating, Cooling & Airflow

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