How many years will a commercial HVAC system last? It’s an important question when you’re making a big investment in your building’s infrastructure. However, there isn’t a clear-cut answer regarding how long you can expect a commercial HVAC system to last simply because not all systems are identical. How a unit is made, the quality of the materials used, and the longevity of individual parts can all impact a system’s lifespan. However, there are some general expectations that someone buying a new HVAC system today can have based on industry norms. Take a look at everything you need to know about how long commercial HVAC systems can be expected to last.

What Is a Commercial HVAC System?

It can help to start with basics when understanding why commercial HVAC systems need such precise care in order to reach their full lifespans. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These versatile systems contain many different components. The main parts of any standard commercial HVAC system include:

  • Air Exchangers: The exchanger swaps stale air for fresh air to reduce allergens, control humidity, and maintain air-quality levels.
  • Evaporator Coils and Coolant: Coils help to keep the coolant that cools your home cool.
  • Vents, Registers, and Ductwork: These components all carry fresh air throughout your home to ensure consistent, even temperatures.
  • Thermostat: A thermostat allows you to adjust, control, and monitor the indoor temperature of a building. It is sometimes necessary to upgrade a thermostat system when getting a new commercial HVAC system.

While HVAC systems are generally known to be sturdy and dependable, the reality is that it’s very easy for an error with just a single component to compromise the function of the entire unit. The risk gets bigger when the system gets bigger. While residential HVAC systems are commonly used in homes, commercial HVAC systems offer higher capacity for heating and cooling offices, retail stores, industrial spaces, living facilities, hotels, medical clinics, hospitals, and apartment buildings.

The Average Lifespan of a Commercial HVAC System

Generally, a commercial HVAC system can be expected to last between 15 and 25 years. Yes, it’s even possible for an impeccably maintained HVAC system to last beyond 25 years. A unit that is not maintained based on the manufacturer’s specifications might only function for 18 years.

What Factors Affect HVAC Lifespan?

Like any major system or appliance, a commercial HVAC system is vulnerable to wear and tear. A number of different factors that can come into play before a unit is even installed can also affect longevity. Here’s a look at the big factors influencing commercial HVAC lifespans:

  • Installation: Proper installation is important with HVAC systems. When a system is installed improperly, the system is more likely to experience premature breakdowns and failures.
  • System Type: Some systems are simply designed to last longer than others. A system featuring a two-stage mechanism tends to have a longer lifespan by default simply because it uses continuous flow instead of being subjected to frequent on-and-off cycles.
  • System Quality: A premium system is more likely to last for a long time than an inferior system.
  • Wear and Tear: The amount of usage that a system sees can cause it to break down prematurely. This is why HVACs located in areas with extreme climates tend to have shorter lifespans.
  • Unit Size: If a commercial HVAC unit isn’t the correct size for a space, it will be forced to struggle to keep up with the needed energy output. A unit that is too small is one of the biggest reasons behind why HVAC systems fail early.

Some of these factors are entirely within your control. For instance, it can pay to do your research on the best brands and units. It’s also beneficial to take time to research system models that work best for your usage needs. However, breakdowns related to wear and tear aren’t always easy to control. Some of the damage caused by wear and tear can be mitigated using regular HVAC maintenance from a trusted company.

How Does HVAC Maintenance Extend the Life of a Commercial HVAC System?

First, changing filters regularly can go a long way in preserving the efficiency and performance of any HVAC system. However, this should only be considered the bare minimum for keeping a system going. Here’s a look at some of the routine maintenance steps that help to keep HVAC systems in top condition for longer life:

  • Professionals can conduct regular inspections of both cooling and heating units to look for any signs of dirt, pollen, grass, leaves, pests, or debris. This applies to both external and internal components. Units will be cleaned as needed.
  • Professionals can clear the spaces surrounding any units on your property. Allowing units to get crowded by trees, shrubs, or overgrowth can make them less efficient. This can ultimately cause them to work harder than they need to until they burn out. Creating enough clearance around every unit is essential for boosting a commercial HVAC
  • Professionals will replace filters on a regular schedule to ensure that HVAC units are always clean, clear, and efficient. In addition to preserving the lifespan of a system, this crucial step also ensures that the indoor air quality of a building doesn’t become dangerous for people.
  • Professionals will clean refrigerant lines regularly.
  • Professionals will also clean and drain a unit’s condenser coils.

It’s important to avoid allowing HVAC maintenance to become something that only gets done when it gets remembered. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that a system gets ignored. It also creates a dangerous situation for everyone in the building because there are many factors that can cause dirty air to enter a space whenever HVAC systems are ignored. A professional HVAC maintenance provider will be able to schedule routine checkpoints based on industry-recommended practices to ensure your system gets the best treatment possible. The other added benefit of having routine cleaning and maintenance done is that this is one of the best ways to catch small problems within a system before they grow into large problems. Having worn or faltering parts replaced right away can help to preserve a system for many more years to come!

It’s never too late to get back on track with HVAC maintenance if your business has fallen behind. In addition, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new HVAC unit if a system is experiencing poor performance. The bright side to this is that upgrading to a new unit may help you to avoid throwing money away on a low-efficiency HVAC system. Of course, it’s important to select the right HVAC unit for your building this time around with help from licensed, trained HVAC professionals capable of making recommendations based on the layout, configuration, size, and location of your building.

Get Maintenance Support for Your Commercial HVAC System in Newark, Delaware

It’s important to have licensed professionals overseeing your HVAC system maintenance in Delaware. While proper maintenance of all heating and cooling systems is important in any setting, it is especially important in a commercial building where employees, clients, and members of the public spend time because a malfunctioning HVAC system that creates dangerous air quality can be a liability. What’s more, having a system malfunction can be a big disruption for your business. Let our trained and licensed team show up to help you keep your commercial HVAC maintenance plan in Newark, Delaware flawless. If you need help with HVAC repairs or replacements in Delaware, we can help you to get everything working again. Contact us today to get started!