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How Long Do Commercial HVAC Systems Last?

Your commercial HVAC systems help ensure comfort and safety of your tenants and customers, and understanding your HVAC system’s life span is important for business continuity. This is why HVAC replacement needs to be anticipated — a timely replacement can help avoid losses caused by unplanned repairs or replacement. OK Heating and Air Conditioning takes a look at the expected life spans of commercial HVAC Systems.

Typical Expected Life Spans

Commercial HVAC system life spans vary between types:

  • Furnace and boiler. A commercial furnace or boiler typically lasts 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance. They need to be replaced if the heat exchanger starts leaking, as repairs would be a short-term solution, and not as cost-effective.
  • Air conditioners and heat pumps. Both systems are essentially the same — the key difference is that heat pumps have reversible cooling cycles, which allows them to double as heating systems. A standard whole-building air conditioning system typically lasts 15 to 20 years, while a heat pump has a shorter expected life span at 10 to 20 years, both with proper maintenance.
  • Ductless mini-splits. Ductless mini-split heat pumps and air conditioners allow modularity and are popular with smaller buildings. They typically last 10 to 30 years, again with proper maintenance.

With the exception of ductless systems, a commercial whole-building HVAC system also includes air exchangers that control airflow in the building, and the network of air ducts, vents, and registers that facilitate airflow. Air exchangers typically last 15 to 20 years, and can be replaced separately. As a whole, air ducts typically outlast most heating and air conditioning systems, but they must be cleaned and re-sealed every five years or so.

Factors That Affect Your HVAC System’s Life Span

Awareness of factors that can affect your commercial HVAC system’s life span can help you get the most years out of it. Poor installation practices can significantly reduce an HVAC system’s longevity, which is why it’s important to only work with certified HVAC technicians. Environmental factors like extreme temperatures, high humidity levels, or proximity to coastal areas can introduce wear and corrosion. Neglect from lack of maintenance can likewise result in a shorter HVAC service life.

Call OK Heating and Air for Your Commercial HVAC Needs

Keeping up with maintenance requirements will help you get the most years out of your HVAC system. In addition to routine tasks such as changing air filters regularly and inspecting coils for damage or leaks, you should work with certified HVAC technicians that have the experience working with such complex systems. Call OK Heating and Air at (925) 371-2665 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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