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Lifespan of Commercial HVAC Equipment

April 7, 2014

What is the typical lifespan of commercial HVAC equipment?

In order for business owners and facilities managers to make smart, cost-effective decisions on what HVAC equipment to outfit their buildings, they need access to detailed information on the life expectancy of system components.   This type of data can vary, and is usually based on the type, make, model and year the equipment was manufactured.  Generally speaking, the lifespan of commercial HVAC equipment is dependent on a number of factors.  These factors include:

  • Size of the unit in regards to the square footage of the building
  • Size of the unit in regards to the size of the ductwork
  • Regularity of preventative maintenance
  • Regularity of filter changes
  • Weather and climate conditions
  • Intensity of use
  • Quality of installation
  • System component’s age in regards to compatibility

This last point makes lifespan tricky to estimate especially if components were installed at different times.  We talked a bit about a whole systems approach to HVAC upgrades in a previous blog post.  This method of replacing equipment may cost more upfront, but the return is generous.  When all equipment is the same age, the entire system is more efficient and reliable, and you have to worry less about unexpected repair costs and equipment replacements.

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Here is a table estimating the average lifespan (years) of HVAC components:

Central Air Conditioning: 15

Air Compressor: 15

Rooftop Air Conditioning: 15

Heat Pump: 15

Boilers: 30

Furnaces (Gas or Oil): 18

Unit Heaters (Gas or Electric): 13

Electric Hot Water Heater: 14

Gas Hot Water Heater: 11-13

For more information on commercial HVAC equipment, or to learn more about a whole systems approach to HVAC upgrades, contact Dominion Service Company today.