What is the Life Expectancy of Your Long Island HVAC System?

What is the Life Expectancy of Your Long Island HVAC System?

By now, most of us have turned on our Long Island home’s central air conditioning. Here at Dole, when we install a HVAC system we are typically asked the question: “How long will it last?”. The answer is not that easy to answer. The life expectancy of your unit truly depends on how well it is made and how well you maintain it.

Each system is comprised of slightly different parts and one part could last longer than another. If your system was built with parts that have poor quality compressors, the overall life expectancy could drop significantly because it is often more expensive to replace a compressor than to replace than the system itself.

The following chart lists the average life expectancy of HVAC systems based on your maintenance schedule and national averages. Please keep in mind that these are estimates, not guarantees. Your brand could result in higher or lower life expectancy.

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
  • Performing No Maintenance(0-1 Items): Should Last 8-12 years
  • Performing Little Maintenance (1-2 Items): Should Last 12-18 years
  • Performing Some Maintenance (2-3 Items): Should Last 18-20 years
  • Performing High Maintenance (4 Items): Should Last 20-25 years


The above chart is for your average central air conditioning and heating system. Keep in mind that if you still use kerosene heaters, wood stoves, or other forms of heat, you should expect your unit to last significantly longer.

Geothermal systems are not included in the above chart. These systems generally last 30 or more years. If maintained well enough, the system may last longer than you live in your home.

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

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

Average Life Expectancy

Most manufacturers will agree that homeowners can expect their system’s to last approximately 15-25 years. As long as you maintain the system well and have regular tune-ups/servicing, you will find your system lasts a very long time.

The life cycle of virtually every product in the industry has been greatly extended by advancements in the field.  In today’s market, the general rule of thumb is if the system is more then 10 years old, you should consider replacement, as today's models are much more energy efficient. Many homeowners decide to replace their heating and cooling systems after about 10-15 years for a new, more efficient model.

Spending money on a new system now means that you will start saving more money on your utility bills. Your HVAC system has a limited shelf life. The older it is, the more practical it becomes to swap it out for a new one, rather than wasting money on costly repairs.

Our Dole Fuel Oil heating and air conditioning technicians will be happy to make an appointment to discuss which system is best suited to meet your family's particular needs.

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