Hvacr Equipment Life Expectancy

ASHRAE is the industry organization that sets the standards and guidelines for most HVAC-R equipment. They have published a chart that lists estimated life expectancy for various HVAC equipment.

Below you can see ASHRAE chart of HVAC Equipment Life Expectancy. The chart includes a list of median life expectancy for the following types of equipment:

HVACR Equipment Life Expectancy

Equipment Item Median Years
Air conditionersWindow unit 10
Residential single or Split Package15
Commercial through-the wall15
Water-cooled package15
Heat PumpsResidential air-to-air15
Commercial air-to-air15
Commercial water-to-air19
Roof-top air conditioners Single-zone15
Boilers, hot water (steam)Steel water-tube24 (30)
Steel fire-tube25 (25)
Cast iron35 (30)
FurnacesGas- or oil-fired18
Unit heatersGas or electric13
Hot water or steam20
Radiant HeatersElectric10
Hot water or steam25
Air terminalsDiffusers, grilles, and registers 27
Induction and fan coil units20
VAV and double-duct boxes20
Air washers17
Ventilating roof-mounted20
CoilsDX, water, or steam20
Heat ExchangersShell-and-tube24
Reciprocating compressors20
Packaged chillers Reciprocating20
Cooling towersGalvanized metal 20
Air-cooled condensers20
Evaporative condensers20
Pipe-mounted 10
Sump and well 10
Reciprocating engines 20
Steam turbines30
Electric motors18
Motor starters17
Electric transformers 30
Controls Pneumatic20
Valve actuatorsHydraulic15
Self-contained 10
ASHRAE Equipment Life Expectancy chart

The table shows the median years of life expectancy of various HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) equipment. The data can be used by HVAC professionals to estimate the lifespan of the equipment they are installing, repairing, or replacing.

The data provided in the table are based on median years of life expectancy for each equipment type. This means that half of the equipment of that type is expected to last longer, and the other half is expected to last shorter than the median value. Therefore, these values should be used as a rough guideline and not as an exact estimate of the lifespan of the equipment.

It is also important to note that the lifespan of HVACR equipment can be affected by a number of factors, including the quality of installation, the frequency of maintenance, and the intensity of usage. Additionally, some equipment may require more frequent maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


What factors affect the life expectancy of HVACR equipment?
The life expectancy of HVACR equipment is influenced by various factors, including operating conditions, maintenance practices, and environmental factors. For instance, equipment operating in harsh environments, such as coastal areas with high salt concentrations, may have a shorter life expectancy due to corrosion. Similarly, inadequate maintenance, such as infrequent filter cleaning or refrigerant recharging, can reduce equipment lifespan. Additionally, equipment design, quality, and manufacturing defects can also impact life expectancy.
How does the ASHRAE chart account for variability in equipment life expectancy?

The ASHRAE chart provides median life expectancy values, which means that half of the equipment is expected to last longer than the listed value, and half may not last as long. This acknowledges the natural variability in equipment life expectancy due to factors such as installation quality, operating conditions, and maintenance practices. The chart does not provide a guarantee of equipment lifespan but rather serves as a general guideline for planning and budgeting purposes.

What is the difference between median and average life expectancy?

The median life expectancy value listed in the ASHRAE chart is the middle value in a dataset when it is arranged in order. In contrast, the average life expectancy would be the sum of all values divided by the number of data points. Median values are often used in cases where the data is not normally distributed, as they are more representative of the typical value. In the context of HVACR equipment life expectancy, the median value provides a more realistic expectation of equipment lifespan.

How can I use the ASHRAE chart to plan for equipment replacement?

The ASHRAE chart can be used to estimate the remaining lifespan of existing equipment and plan for replacement. By comparing the age of the equipment to the median life expectancy value, facility managers can anticipate when replacement may be necessary. This allows for budgeting and planning for capital expenditures, reducing the likelihood of unexpected equipment failures and associated downtime.

Are there any exceptions to the life expectancy values listed in the ASHRAE chart?

Yes, there may be exceptions to the life expectancy values listed in the ASHRAE chart. For example, equipment that is properly maintained, operated within design specifications, and protected from environmental stresses may last longer than the listed median value. Conversely, equipment subjected to extreme operating conditions, inadequate maintenance, or manufacturing defects may not last as long as the listed value. It is essential to consider these factors when using the ASHRAE chart to estimate equipment life expectancy.

How does equipment sizing impact life expectancy?

Oversized or undersized equipment can impact life expectancy. Oversized equipment may lead to reduced lifespans due to increased wear and tear from frequent on/off cycling, while undersized equipment may experience increased stress and reduced lifespans due to continuous operation. Proper equipment sizing is critical to ensuring optimal performance, efficiency, and lifespan.

Can I use the ASHRAE chart to estimate the life expectancy of equipment in unique or specialized applications?

The ASHRAE chart provides general guidelines for HVACR equipment life expectancy in typical applications. However, equipment used in unique or specialized applications, such as data centers, hospitals, or industrial processes, may have different life expectancy values due to the specific operating conditions and requirements. In such cases, it is recommended to consult with equipment manufacturers, industry experts, or conduct site-specific studies to estimate equipment life expectancy.

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