How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of a package unit heat pump or air conditioner?
Saturday, June 1, 2019
How long does a package unit heat pump or air conditioner last?
Package units are most often used for mobile homes and site-built homes with elevated wood floors and a crawl space. The average lifespan of a package unit heat pump or air conditioner is 10 to 16 years, with an average of 14 years.
According to the Social Security Administration, the typical 65-year old American can expect to live to the age of 83. Some will depart this world sooner, and about 10% will live to 95. Old air conditioners are much like that. It’s easy to find out the average lifespan, but pinpointing the month when the service van will pull up to take away your old unit and cart in a new one is just not possible.
Regular maintenance is a good way to beat the odds and make your system last longer, and most HVAC contractors offer a service plan with annual or twice a year visits.
Many people refer to both an air conditioner ("straight cool” or “cooling”) and a heat pump as simply an “air conditioner,” but an air conditioner requires an electric resistance heat coil or combination with a gas or oil furnace for heating, whereas a heat pump can reverse the flow of refrigerant to heat the home. Most heat pumps have electric resistance heat anyway as a backup for very cold days.
Here’s our comparison chart with the average life expectancies of different types of air conditioners, along with other appliances that provide heating and ventialation for a home.
Also see our article How can I make my Florida air conditioner last longer? Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components.
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMade, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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