Maybe it's not as old as T-Rex, but if it's past its prime, it could be eating you for lunch with high utilities.
When is a furnace, air conditioner or heat pump past its prime? How old is too old?
Appliance Magazine published a report of the life expectancy one could expect for a range of appliances, including central heating and air conditioning equipment. The life expectancy is determined from past experience and sales data. The average life of an appliance isn't the age the appliance wears out and dies, though some do. It is also not the age when you should replace. Some would argue that many homeowners wait too long to replace their heating and air conditioning system. The average life expectancy shown below represents the average number of years before most homeowners purchase a replacement. The estimates shown below represent the expert judgment of the Appliance Magazine staff, based on input from manufacturers, industry trade associations, government statistics, and a variety of other sources.
When you exceed the minimum life expectancy, you can feel good about the service you have received from your system. You have gotten good use out of your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. However, if you wait too long to replace your system, you risk paying more in utilities and repair costs than you will spend on the equipment itself. It's usually less expensive in the long run to replace earlier instead of later. In the end, you still must replace your equipment. Wait and you will pay a premium for energy usage and repairs.
|Heating & Air Conditioning Life Expectancy in Years|
|Air conditioners, room||7||16||12|
|Air conditioners, unitary||8||19||13|
|Room heaters, vented gas||7||18||13|
|Room heaters, unvented gas||13||23||18|
|Water heaters, electric||6||21||14|
|Water heaters, gas||5||13||9|
|Source: “23rd Annual Portrait of the U.S. Appliance Industry,” Appliance Magazine|
© 2003 Service Roundtable