How Long Will My HVAC Unit Last?

Perhaps the question we are asked most: How long will my HVAC unit last? The fact is, there are many factors at play when considering the answer. Typically speaking, you can expect to get 15 to 20 years of dependable service from a properly maintained HVAC system. While that number is the industry standard, it doesn’t consider the numerous variables that can reduce that lifespan. We at Complete Comfort – Central Indiana’s leader in heating, plumbing, and air conditioning – have a few important tips for your HVAC system so that it lives a long and happy life – keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.

The AC Lifespan

The HVAC unit consists of the furnace and air conditioner – and both have different lifespans. If you have a properly sized unit, you can expect to get 10 to 15 years from your air conditioner. It’s important to select a unit that is neither too small nor too big for your home. If the unit is too small, it’ll have to work harder to keep the house cool, especially in the dead of summer. This can reduce its lifespan. Similarly, if you have a unit that is too big (a unit rated for a 3000 square foot and your home is only 1800) the unit will cool the house too quickly – causing the AC to turn off and on too often, wearing out parts.

The Furnace Lifespan

The lifespan for today’s models of furnaces is pretty good. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a furnace to last twice as long as an AC unit. With regular maintenance and proper installation, your furnace could reach the ripe old age of 30. Generally, they last 20 to 30 years. However, if your furnace is still running well at 20 years old but you need an AC replacement now, you should consider replacing the furnace at the same time. It’s cheaper to replace both together than it would be to replace the furnace separately in a few years.

Location, Location, Location

Location can be a huge determiner in the lifespan of your HVAC system, and there are a few things to consider living in Central Indiana. One is that Hoosiers usually see a slight increase in the lifespan of their AC. If you lived in Phoenix, your AC would basically run 24/365. Whereas here in Indiana, we typically only run ours in summer. However, Indianans use their furnaces more, which means it’s possible for a furnace in Indiana to see a slightly shorter lifespan. This is important when deciding whether to replace the AC and furnace at the same time. In Indiana, if you have an aging furnace, it’s a good idea to replace both together.


While this information should give you a good idea as to the lifespan of your HVAC system, there are no guarantees. The best way to keep your system in peak running condition is to schedule regular maintenance checkups. Investing in routine checks could save you from an expensive repair or early replacement. Our highly trained experts can solve any problem and spot signs of larger issues to come to prevent them from occurring. Complete Comfort is Central Indiana’s most trusted cooling and heating system provider, and we’re confident you’ll understand why when you meet us. Call us at (317) 671-7552 to schedule your appointment today!