What is the Lifespan of Your Commercial HVAC Equipment?
November 6, 2021
Determining the Commercial HVAC Life Expectancy for Your Unit
Regardless of how well you take care of them, all mechanical equipment: cars, appliances and other investments will eventually reach the end of their lifespan — and that includes commercial HVAC equipment. In a commercial HVAC system, heating and cooling mechanisms eventually succumb to wear and tear. So what should you expect in terms of your commercial HVAC life expectancy?Read on for more guidance about what factors contribute to your HVAC’s lifespan, when to repair or replace it, and how to ensure it performs effectively for as long as possible.
Commercial HVAC Equipment's Expected Lifespan
If you keep up with suggested maintenance, the average life expectancy of commercial HVAC systems is 15 to 20 years. However, just as your bones, heart, and circulatory system won’t perform as efficiently if you don’t exercise, eat properly, and get enough sleep, your commercial HVAC system will wear out more quickly if you don’t keep up with service and repairs.
The Cool Factors
For HVAC units to last a long time, there are a variety of factors that play a role. Here are some things to consider:
- The size of the unit — If your HVAC isn’t large enough to heat or cool the designated space, it will work too hard, resulting in unnecessary wear and tear. If your HVAC is too large, it will turn on and off too often, resulting in speedier deterioration and less efficient heating and air conditioning.
- Filter replacement — Change your HVAC filters at recommended intervals to prevent headaches that can shorten lifespan expectancy of commercial HVAC units. Doing so can prevent clogged coils and dirty air ducts. Review the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine how often to change filters.
- Routine maintenance — An experienced contractor can recommend preventative maintenance intervals to prolong commercial HVAC life expectancy. A general rule of thumb is quarterly service and inspections with spring and fall start-ups.
- The quality of the initial installation — Employing a qualified contractor for your initial HVAC installation will ensure your system is in the correct location with correct ductwork and proper installation. An incorrect installation can take years off your HVAC system’s life.
If it is Broken...
If your HVAC system isn’t functioning properly, you’ll have a decision to make — repair it or purchase a new system. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you make the right choice:
How much will it cost?
Ask your contractor how much it will cost to repair your current HVAC system. In many cases, you will realize a high return on investment and save money in the long run by replacing an outdated system with a new, more energy-efficient model.
Some issues are small and require only some tightening up. Others, like cracks or corrosion on the heat exchanger or compressor failure, could require a replacement.
How is your HVAC’s current performance?
Is your current system adequately heating or cooling your space? Inconsistent temperatures often mean your unit isn’t powerful enough to distribute air properly for regulating heating and air conditioning and may have mechanical issues.
Are your energy bills higher?
Energy bills that are higher than they were during the same months in previous years could signal it is time for a replacement.
Prolonging the Life Expectancy of Commercial HVAC Units
If you’ve decided it is time to purchase new HVAC units for your facility, one of the best ways to protect your investment is to employ a knowledgeable contractor to create a service plan that meets your needs. Types of service contracts include:
- Full-service contracts provide 100% coverage of labor, parts, maintenance, and materials as well as emergency service.
- Labor-only contracts encompass all labor to repair and properly maintain your unit, but you are required to purchase all equipment and parts.
- Maintenance-only contracts include annual or twice-yearly inspections and preventative maintenance such as filter and belt changes and coil cleaning.
- Inspection-only contracts cover only periodic inspections.
United Mechanical Services — Protecting Your Investment
United Mechanical Services is a premier commercial HVAC contractor providing Oklahoma business owners with installation, repairs, and maintenance services. Our expert team can create a customized plan to prolong commercial HVAC life expectancy, whether that includes a one-time repair or a full maintenance contract.
Take a look at our other helpful guides for more information about how to properly maintain and protect your business’s HVAC system.