How long do HVAC systems typically last?

How long do HVAC systems typically last?



You can expect the average heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC) to last between 15 and 25 years. The average lifespan of your system, however, will vary depending on a few factors. For example, the frequency with which you use your system and how well you maintain it can have an impact on the number of years the HVAC lasts. 

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable, no system has a greater role than your air-conditioning and heating system. It’s important to keep up with its maintenance and make sure you know when it’s time to replace it. This article will explain the signs of an HVAC needing maintenance and how you can go about getting your system properly replaced.


How to know if your HVAC system is going bad

HVAC systems last for many years, but they can experience problems, particularly at the end of their life span. Some signs can indicate that your HVAC system is starting to break down, which is when you’ll want to call a professional to diagnose the problem. They can help you learn more about your options for repair or replacement. 

  • Your unit makes too much noise. Your HVAC system can start making noise for a number of reasons. Broken, worn-out or loose parts related to the motor, blower, fan or other components can result in odd noises coming from your system.
  • Your unit takes too long to accomplish its job. When the HVAC system doesn’t work efficiently, it may take an increasingly long time to sufficiently heat or cool your space. If you notice the runtime continuing to increase, that can be a key indicator that the unit isn’t doing its job well. Keep an eye on your thermostat to see how well your system maintains your desired temperature. You may also notice higher energy bills.
  • Your system requires too many repairs. If you find yourself regularly having to call in a service professional, it might be time to replace the entire system. As the system gets to the end of its life, more and more parts might break down and need to be replaced.
  • You see signs of corrosion. If you start to see signs of corrosion anywhere on your air-conditioning unit, it’s a good idea to call for HVAC maintenance. This can indicate a growing problem that will hurt the ability of your system to perform. An HVAC technician can help you with the proper maintenance or let you know if you need a new system.
  • Your system has become very outdated. HVAC systems have undergone considerable advances in technology in recent years, and some of the refrigerants used in older systems, such as Freon, aren’t in use anymore. If your system is more than a decade or two old, it might be time to replace it. Older HVAC systems tend to be inefficient compared to newer systems, meaning they may use more energy and drive up your utility bill. A newer, energy-efficient system can help you save money in the long run. 

As you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable, it’s important to stay on top of regular maintenance. A service professional who regularly inspects your unit can help uncover potential problems faster and get them fixed before they become a bigger issue.

The service professional can also help catch signs of aging so that repair or replacement is completed on schedule rather than having to scramble unexpectedly. Since the technician can help keep all components of your system working as smoothly as possible, this may improve the life expectancy of your HVAC unit, ensuring you get the most out of your heating and cooling system.


Can you replace an HVAC system yourself?

The HVAC system is complex and involves a lot of different and potentially dangerous parts. For example, the unit will need to be properly equipped with refrigerant. Refrigerant can be extremely dangerous if it gets into the air and you breathe it in.

Homeowners also have to make sure that all of the electrical components have been properly connected. Wires that haven’t been properly connected can become a fire hazard. Additionally, if the heat pump hasn’t been properly installed, it won’t be able to transfer the air to warm your home during the winter. 

Similarly, it’s important to make sure that the ventilation system has been properly installed so you have clean air circulating throughout your home. With an AC unit, the condenser also needs to be carefully installed to make sure you don’t accidentally end up with water damage.

Given the complexities involved with installing an HVAC system, it’s apparent that this isn’t the type of job you should attempt without the proper training, even if you’re experienced with DIY projects. Instead, you should work closely with professionals who can help you make sure your system is properly installed and maintained throughout its life span.


How much does it cost to replace an HVAC system?

The costs associated with replacing an HVAC system will vary depending on the size of your house and your existing system. If you didn’t have this type of system before and you need to lay all new ductwork for the unit to be properly connected, it will cost more than simply replacing an existing system.

The average cost for replacing an HVAC system is $7,000, according to HomeAdvisor. However, looking at the average cost per square foot of home space will likely provide you with a more accurate estimate.

Overall, people replacing their system can expect to pay between $25 and $60 per square foot. This range accounts for differences in cost that might be found in different parts of the country, as well as the different models. A low-end, basic HVAC system will have a lower cost per square foot than a higher-end model. Typically, higher-end models will have higher efficiency and may incorporate more smart technology. 

It’s a good idea to work closely with an HVAC professional to evalwwwe your space and determine the HVAC unit model and size that will work best for your home. Discuss your heating and cooling needs, your target temperature and what each model can offer. This will help you make the best possible decision for your home. A professional can also help you compare the repair costs for your old system to the value of replacing it with new HVAC equipment that will use less energy.


AC and heating systems are covered under a Cinch home warranty

To help you further protect your investment when it comes to your air-conditioning and heating system, consider the value that comes with a home warranty from Cinch Home Services. Any problem with your HVAC system can quickly cause discomfort and, potentially, a hefty repair or replacement bill. A Cinch home protection plan can give you peace of mind. Our warranty not only provides you with the right coverage in the event of a breakdown, but it also connects you with quality HVAC service technicians who are ready to help.

With the Cinch Built-in Systems plan, you have coverage to help you take care of your system. If you start hearing funny noises when it turns on during winter, or if you find that it doesn’t keep your home properly cool without running around the clock in the summer, you can trust our vetted technicians to get you an answer quickly. 

With coverage from Cinch, you also get guaranteed service, like a 180-day workmanship guarantee, protection from unknown pre-existing conditions, rust and corrosion coverage, and discounts on new appliances. We make it easier for you to take care of your home. See what a Cinch Built-in Systems plan can do for you and your home today by requesting a free quote.


Your HVAC is essential to keeping your home comfortable. Learn how long it should last and key indicators that you need to call a technician.

Your home protection is ready and waiting!