How Many Years Will My Commercial HVAC Equipment Last?

One of the most important skills a business owner or property manager needs to have is the ability to budget effectively. After all, every single day brings new opportunities and new challenges. And if the money isn’t there, if cash flow isn’t conducive to providing the best every single day, the bottom line will eventually break the business.

Its not the little things that hurt the most; it’s the large problems that arise and take a big bite out of a monthly allowance. Like a HVAC emergency. If your HVAC suddenly stops operating and you haven’t planned on an upgrade, thousands of dollars disappearing from your monthly allotment can send you into a tailspin.
But just like all maintenance items that exist as a part of your business, HVAC equipment has different life expectancies based on the type of equipment.
  • Life expectancy of commercial HVAC equipment typically depends on a few things:
  • The size of the unit in use
  • The size of the unit in relation to the square footage its servicing
  • The effectiveness of the ductwork
  • Preventative maintenance strategies
  • How often the filters have been changed
  • The weather and climate conditions
  • How well the original equipment was installed
  • How old the equipment is


While age of equipment is a leading indicator of how well the equipment will perform, its also the one thing that can be misleading when making decisions about repairing or replacing. After all, most HVAC units have a variety of parts. And over the years, different parts may be repaired or replaced on different time spans. If its not replaced altogether, how long should each part last?
While every piece of equipment is unique to its surrounding areas, there are some general rules you can follow:
  • Electric water heater – 14 years
  • Gas water heater – 12 years
  • Furnace – 18 years
  • Boilers – 30 years
  • Heat pump – 15 years
  • Central air conditioning – 15 years
  • Rooftop air conditioning – 15 years
  • Air compressor – 15 years


Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and will depend entirely on the factors listed above. Yet as a property manager, you can use these figures as you are making your budget each year.

Nothing extends the life of your HVAC system like regular maintenance. In addition to helping you extend the life of your equipment, it can also help you avoid avoid lost sales, customer complaints and employee productivity problems by having your equipment go down at the most inopportune times. With a variety of maintenance programs available, we offer the perfect solution to help keep your HVAC equipment in top shape year round.


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