How Long Does Commercial HVAC Equipment Last?

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Your HVAC system plays an important role in keeping your facility at a comfortable temperature and maintaining healthy indoor air quality. But like other mechanical systems, parts can wear down over time and need to be replaced. Knowing how long your HVAC system and its equipment will last is helpful in determining when to perform a maintenance tune-up or install a new system altogether. 

Commercial HVAC units and their components should be maintained twice a year. It’s typical to check the air conditioning system in the spring and the heating system in the fall before your system is fully switching into constant cooling or heating. 

Depending on the specific type of HVAC equipment and how well it is maintained, most HVAC equipment can last anywhere from 10-35 years. Routine preventative maintenance will help your HVAC equipment extend its life while improving your facility’s indoor air quality. Continue reading for a breakdown of various equipment types and their average life expectancies.

Life Expectancies for Entire Commercial HVAC Systems

Full HVAC systems include all of the components and equipment that may be listed in the later sections. The average commercial HVAC system life is around 16 years.

EquipmentAverage Life
Air Conditioners10-15 years
Roof-Top Air Conditioners15 years
Heat Pumps15-19 years
Boilers, Hot Water (Steam)15-35 years
Furnaces18 years
Unit Heaters13-20 years
Radiant Heaters10-25 years
Air Washers17 years

Commercial HVAC System Components

These components reside in HVAC systems, often the parts that give the system power and move the system’s other parts. The average HVAC system component life is around 19 years.

EquipmentAverage Life
Burners21 years
Insulation20-24 years
Pumps10-20 years
Reciprocating Engines20 years
Steam Turbines30 years
Electric Motors18 years
Motor Starters17 years
Electric Transformers30 years
Controls15-20 years
Valve Actuators10-20 years

Commercial HVAC Airflow Components

The HVAC system’s air flow components move air that has been heated or cooled through the system and throughout your facility. The average HVAC airflow component life is around 22 years.

Commercial HVAC air ducts and insulation
EquipmentAverage Life
Air Terminals20-27 years
Ductwork30 years
Dampers20 years
Fans15-25 years
Coils15-20 years

Commercial HVAC Heating and Cooling Components

Heating and cooling components alter the temperature of the air being moved throughout your facility. The average HVAC heating and cooling component life is around 23 years.

EquipmentAverage Life
Heat Exchangers24 years
Reciprocating Compressors20 years
Packaged Chillers20-23 years
Cooling Towers20-34 years
Condensers20 years

Schedule Routine Maintenance for Your HVAC System

Routine HVAC maintenance keeps your system running longer while costing less. Clean, maintained systems are also more energy efficient, saving you money while reducing your environmental impact. Learn more about how you can keep your HVAC system in good working condition in our HVAC Maintenance Checklist.

Knowledge on the Go

To view the average life of all HVAC components, download our full

Looking for an experienced HVAC technician to maintain your commercial systems? Entrust RBI to get the job done. RBI is a premier full-service plumbing, mechanical, service, controls, and design-build company. We provide custom services tailored to meet your needs and requirements at each stage of your HVAC system journey, from helping you find the right equipment to installing and maintaining your system.