Home heating and cooling systems are a significant investment, which is why it makes sense to try to get the most out of them. On average, an HVAC unit can last between 10 and 25 years. Even with regular upkeep, however, there will come a time when a high-quality furnace, heat pump, boiler, or air conditioner will break down and require replacement.
In this blog, heating, and AC replacement contractor Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating discusses the typical lifespans of various HVAC systems. We also touch on the factors that affect their service life, as well as tips to ensure their long-term efficiency and performance.

Average Lifespans of Different HVAC Systems

The service life of HVAC systems depends on the type. Here’s a closer look at each one:

Furnace – The lifespan of a furnace varies depending on its type. Oil-powered ones, for instance, typically last 15 to 20 years or even longer if maintained annually. Gas furnaces have an expected lifespan of 15 to 20 years, while electric ones can last 20 to 30 years.
Boiler – Like the furnace, a boiler’s life expectancy depends on the type you have at home. A traditional gas boiler can last up to 15 years with proper upkeep. An electric-powered one will usually last between eight and 10 years. A higher-quality, more expensive boiler, when well-maintained, can make it to the 20-year mark or even further.
Air conditioner – You can get 12 to 15 years out of your air conditioning unit if you have it checked by an AC repair and maintenance technician at least twice a year. By scheduling a maintenance visit today, you can be assured that your equipment will remain in top shape and will be ready for the next cooling season. After all, a malfunctioning air conditioner is the last thing you want to deal with on a hot summer day.
Heat pump – Depending on usage frequency, a heat pump can last 10 to 20 years, though 15 is average. In homes situated in coastal areas, however, it will probably last between seven and 12 years. It has a heating and cooling mode, which means it’s typically used all year long. You need to have it inspected at least once or twice a year to ensure proper function and efficiency.

Factors Affecting an HVAC System’s Lifespan

The longevity and performance of your home HVAC system depend on several factors, including the following:

Proper HVAC sizing – Properly-sized heating and cooling equipment will help ensure that your home stays comfortable without putting the equipment under unnecessary stress. A high-capacity air conditioner that’s too large for your living space will cycle on and off continuously without ever reaching the temperature set on your thermostat. A smaller system, on the other hand, will run for longer periods until your home feels comfortable enough. Either way, the equipment will waste energy trying to keep you warm or cool, resulting in higher utility costs and a shortened lifespan for your HVAC unit.
Your home’s insulation – The insulation in your home helps keep conditioned air from your HVAC system from escaping outdoors, and also prevents hot or cold air from penetrating indoors. If your attic, walls, and floors above vented crawl spaces lack the necessary amount of insulation, your heating and cooling unit will have to work harder to achieve the appropriate temperatures. As a result, it will have a shortened lifespan due to increased wear and tear.
Proper installation – Your HVAC system may not be installed correctly if you find that it’s not keeping your home’s temperature at a comfortable level or you’re seeing a spike in your energy bills. If you’re planning to upgrade to more energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, make sure to work with a reputable contractor in your area. With their expertise and experience, you can be sure every component of the home comfort system is working together and can reach its full potential in terms of efficiency and performance.
Maintenance – Of course, regular heating and AC maintenance play a major role in your system’s longevity and efficiency. The lack of it can expedite wear and tear on your unit, not to mention shorten its life expectancy. Be sure to work with a contractor that also offers maintenance agreements. Be it an annual or semi-annual plan, you can expect them to detect small issues and address them before they require costly repairs, ensuring consistent comfort all year round.

Things You Can Do to Extend Your HVAC System’s Lifespan

In addition to scheduling twice-a-year tune-ups or annual maintenance, there are other things you can do to get the most life out of your HVAC system. Here are some of them:

Change the air filters regularly – Whether you’re using disposable 30-day fiberglass filters or 3-month pleated filters for your HVAC unit, be sure to check them regularly. Replace them right away if they get too clogged with dirt. Do this even if it’s ahead of schedule. Otherwise, your heating and cooling system will have a hard time providing consistent comfort. Not only that, but it can also impact the air you breathe at home.
Invest in a smart thermostat – Replace your old thermostat with one that has the latest technological features. Consider getting one that has an app that allows you to control and adjust the temperature no matter where you’re at using your smartphone or another mobile device. Also, choose a smart thermostat that can “learn” your heating and cooling habits and provide energy-saving comfort schedule recommendations.
Ease your HVAC system’s burden – Give your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner a break occasionally to make it last longer. Utilize your ceiling fans during hot weather to stay cool, making sure the temperature on the thermostat is set a bit higher than normal. Take advantage of energy-efficient windows with low-emissivity coatings to minimize the heat from the sun entering your home.
Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating offers nothing but the best HVAC products and services in the local area. From maintenance contracts and new installations to repairs and indoor air quality inspections, our NATE- and EPA-certified technicians are ready to ensure your heating and cooling system provides consistent comfort while helping you save on energy bills.

Call (623) 777-3881 or fill out our contact form to request a quote or schedule a service appointment.

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