Frequently Asked Questions

Home » Frequently Asked Questions » What is the average life expectancy of an air conditioning system?


What is the average life expectancy of an air conditioning system?

Whenever we install a new heating/cooling system we are always asked the same question: “How long will it last?”. The simple answer: it depends on how well you maintain it. Every manufacturer makes their system slightly different than another and one part could last longer than another. For example, if a manufacturer produces systems that have poor quality compressors, then the overall life expectancy could drop significantly because compressors are sometimes more expensive to replace than the system itself.

Here is a chart which outlines the average life expectancy of HVAC systems based on how much maintenance you use, national averages, and plain old estimates. Please keep in mind that these are estimates, not guarantees. Your brand could result in higher or lower life expectancies.

Maintenance Items:

  • Changing filter regularly (1-3 months)
  • Getting tune-ups/servicing seasonally
  • Remove debris from outside unit
  • Checking on and replacing refrigerant insulation as necessary
No Maintenance (0 items) Little Maintenance (1-2 Items) Some Maintenance (2-3 Items) High Maintenance (4 items)
15-18 years 18-20 years 20-25 years 25+ years


The above chart is for your average central AC/heating system; however, if you still use oil burners, wood stoves, or other forms of heat, then your numbers are significantly different.

Oil-based furnaces generally only last a few years and require a lot of maintenance to keep them running. As an older system, it can last a few years and they are not too expensive, making it a popular item among some people.

Geothermal systems are also not included in the above chart. These systems generally last around 30+ years. If maintained well enough, the system may be there longer than you!

Boilers mostly follow the above chart, except they last slightly longer (by 1-3 years) than other average systems.

Additional features/accessories are not included as well, such as:

  • Humidifiers (8-10 years)
  • Dehumidifiers (8-10 years)
  • Thermostats (35-40 years)
  • Ventilation/duct-work (8-10 years)
  • Insulation (100 years)

These each have their own life expectancies depending on the brand.

Average Life Expectancy

Most organizations and companies can agree that homeowners can see between 15-25 years in their system’s lifetime. Some places will say 15, others 20, and still others say 25. The truth of the matter is the system lasts as long as you want it to. As long as you maintain the system well and have regular tune-ups/servicing, you’ll find your system lasts a very long time. Many homeowners decide to replace it after about 10-15 years for a new, more efficient model. In the long-run, replacing the system every 15-20 years (most systems’ average life expectancy) is more economical in terms of maintenance fees and energy bills.

Ready to go 24/7/365

Weiss-Johnson is Edmonton's 1st Choice for all your Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing needs.

Our certified technicians are available 24/7 year round to ensure that you can get help whenever that may be. Our team is committed to total customer satisfaction no matter what time of day it is.

What Our Customers Say About Us

"The guys were very friendly. They took lots of care and attention when removing the old furnace and replacing it with the new one to not damage anything along the way. Once finished they took the time to explain the operation and go through any questions we had. I would definitely use them again."

- Kyle J.


"This review is for Noel who came to my home to see why our electric air cleaner was not working. He was punctual and super friendly. Found the problem within 15 minutes. Had the part ordered, and 9 days later it literally only took him 3 minutes to replace it for us!"

- Joy H.


"Booking an appointment for a furnace checkup was a very quick and simple phone call. The technician was on time as promised, very knowledgeable and professional. It gave us piece of mind that our 10 year old furnace was in good working order."

- Nicolas L.