When Do HVAC Appliances Need To Be Replaced?

Some Key Dates To Keep In Mind


Most homeowners set and forget an appliance after it’s installed by a professional. While HVAC appliances last for years, it’s important to know when its replacement date is in order for homeowners to better prepare.

Knowing the replacement timeline for vital HVAC appliances helps homeowners save up for this large expense and adjust everyday habits until a replacement appliance is installed.

When to replace your HVAC


Every month, the air filter needs to be changed to prevent allergen and pathogen buildup. Depending on if a home has a low quantity of dirt, smoke, hair, and pet dander in a home, air filters can be changed every three months without consequence.


3 - 5 YEARS


Outdoor condensing units are likely to fail during the first 3 to 5 years after installation. If the unit is damaged due to lightning or a flood, the unit should be replaced.


5 - 10 YEARS


If formicary corrosion (a process when formaldehyde converts to formic acid on the A/C coil and produces pinholes) occurs or Freon leaks, copper refrigerant tubing needs to be replaced.

An evaporator coil with a SEER rating of 12 or lower or a coil that’s at least a decade old needs to be replaced.

An air handler for a central air conditioner unit needs to be replaced to keep airflow moving and clean.

Carbon monoxide detectors need be replaced every 5 to 10 years to lessen the chance of the harmful chemical going undetected.

Gas and electric water heaters last only about a decade. Replace water heaters after this time-frame.

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers last 8 to 10 years.


10 - 20 YEARS


Heat exchangers need to be replaced due to cracks, rust, and metal fatigue.

Energy inefficient air conditioners need to be replaced with an energy efficient model.

Heat pumps last for 16 years, but some need replacement due to wear and tear sooner.

Air conditioners last between 10 to 15 years due to its outdoor location and subjection to extreme weather conditions.

Furnaces and boilers need to be replaced between 15 to 20 years, depending on the state of natural wear and tear. (Gas furnaces last longer, about 30 years with minimal maintenance and proper sizing and installation.)

Electric and gas water heaters need to be replaced at about 10 years.

Tankless water heaters need to be replaced after 20 years.


25 - 30 YEARS


A traditional thermostat lasts about 25 years.

Programmable and smart thermostats need to be replaced after 35 years due to technological advancements.




Insulation lasts a lifetime, should no punctures, cuts, wet stains, UV damage, or burns exist. Perform maintenance on the insulation with the change of each season to ensure this lifetime guarantee.


It’s important to remember that this timeline of HVAC appliances is the average. The lifespan of a system depends highly on the location of a home, quality of a system’s parts, and regular maintenance (or lack thereof).


Unexpected breakdowns and accidents can occur at any time, which is why it’s vital to perform or hire a professional for regular HVAC maintenance. Contact a professional for more information.

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