how long should an hvac system last in virginia

You might have a new HVAC system, but you know what you don’t have?


That $8,000 flew out of your bank account with a single swipe of your card. Now you might find yourself asking, “How long should an HVAC system last anyway?”

Don’t worry. If you take care of your unit properly, the money you invested in your HVAC system will last you a long time. We’ve put together this guide to show you how long you can expect your new unit to keep running in Virginia.

So let’s get started!

How Long Should an HVAC System Last?

Most HVAC systems last between 15 and 20 years, but this number can go up or (unfortunately) down depending on a few things. Here are a few factors you should consider when thinking about the lifespan of an HVAC system.hvac virginia heating cooling air conditioning

Where You Live

Do you live near the coast?

HVAC systems in ocean-front homes tend to give out sooner than normal because of the extra salt in the air. This salt will get into your unit, and since it is very corrosive, it will break down the components over time.

Air that’s full of moisture can also be a bad mix for your HVAC system. Living in an area with high humidity can cause your system to rust faster than expected.

How You Maintain It

If you don’t perform regular maintenance on your unit, it might not make it to the 15-year mark. You’ll also find yourself making frequent, and likely expensive, repairs along the way. Failing to take care of your unit is one of the easiest and fastest ways to cut years off its life expectancy.

What Type of System You Have

Different types of HVAC systems last for different lengths of time. For example, your furnace will almost always last longer than your air conditioning.

Here’s a closer look at the average lifespan of common units:

  • Air conditioning: 15 to 20 years
  • Furnace: 20 to 25 years
  • Boiler: 25 to 30 years
  • Heat pumps: 15 to 20 years

As you’re shopping for an HVAC unit, you should also spend some time researching the brand and model. Higher quality systems will last longer than cheaper alternatives.

How You Installed It

Always have a reputable professional install your HVAC unit. It’s worth investing a bit of extra money to hire a company that has years of experience, quality products, and positive reviews.

If you try to cut costs by working with a cheap company, you might end up with an HVAC system that wasn’t installed quite right. This will reduce the life expectancy of your unit by several years.

Because of this, you also shouldn’t try to DIY your way through HVAC installation. Unless you have all the right tools and have worked on similar projects before, it’s easy to make a mistake. If this happens, you won’t get your money’s worth out of your unit before it dies.

How to Extend the Lifespan of an HVAC Unit

Don’t want to spend more money on a new HVAC unit before you really need it? There are several ways to give your system the boost it needs to last as long as possible. Make sure you follow the tips below.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Never wait for something to break before you call your HVAC company. Otherwise, you’ll have to live in a home with no heating or air conditioning until the repair team arrives, you’ll be spending more money than necessary, and you’ll end up hurting your unit.

Repairs are more expensive than preventative maintenance.

Because of this, you should schedule two maintenance appointments a year: one in the fall and one in the spring. This will help you catch and fix any issues before they become real problems and ensure your system is up and running for the hot and cold seasons.

Don’t Block the Airflow

If there is anything in front of your vents, such as furniture or clutter, it will block the air flowing out of your unit. This will do two things:

  1. It will take longer for your home to reach a comfortable temperature.
  2. It will make your HVAC system work harder to push out the heat/cold, which will put more strain on your unit and cause it to wear out faster.

Always keep your vents clear even if you have to rearrange the setup of a room.

Keep Vents and Ducts Clean

As your HVAC unit circulates air through your rooms, it also pulls in all the dust, pet hair, and other debris floating around your home. This will get caught in the filter, along the inside of the duct work, and in the vents.

Check your vents for signs of dirt buildup every few months. If the debris is starting to block the slits, give it a quick cleaning with a damp towel.

You won’t have to worry about your ducts as often. However, you should have a professional clean them once every two to five years. Trying to do this yourself will be difficult if you don’t have the right tools, so it’s better to leave it to the pros.

Replace the Filters Oftenhvac maintenance virginia heating cooling air conditioning

On average, HVAC filters only last about three months, but every unit is different. Talk to your HVAC company about how often to replace your filters then make sure you stick to that schedule.

If you leave your filters dirty, you’re breathing all that debris every time you turn on your unit. You will also make your system work hard to push out air, which can reduce its lifespan.

Buying an HVAC System in Virginia

So how long should an HVAC system last?

Depending on your unit, the average lifespan is about 15 to 20 years.

If you want to ensure it lasts as long as possible, you need to take action right away. Don’t hesitate to schedule a maintenance appointment with our team at Small Solutions. We’ll visit your Virginia home, take a look at your system, and let you know what steps you should take next (if needed).

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