Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    597

    Default Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    I'm trying to find the life expectancy of various HVAC equipment. I know it varies by type of equipment - Example Gas fired furnace, oil fired boiler (steel vs. gas) etc. But rather than getting info on years of life from this "News Thread", I'm wondering if there is any authority that provides this information. Is it IRS depreciation, Insurance depreciation schedules, manufactures warranty, or industry standards (whatever they are?)

    What would court room justices accept in a legal case?

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services
    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    What would court room justices accept in a legal case?
    If anything, it would likely be historical local environment statistics, obtained (potentially) from local contractors who replace the units.

    Even that is subject to the contractor's experience and not necessarily consistent from contractor to contractor.

    I.e., a condenser unit will last a lot longer in a northern/cooler environment than in a southern/hotter environment (even consider a heat pump as a southern hotter environment would have fewer 'open window days' than a northern/cooler environment - and any environment which was so cool as to not have "open window days" would likely be too cold for a heat pump to work efficiently anyway).

    Just pondering a guess is all.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    National Association of Home Builders has put information out in the past. Last table I have is from 2007 and may not apply to today's products.

    Try this link https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-long-things-last

    I think this will help you out.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,721

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    This is the document that Gary mentioned.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Two key aspects of that study, and stated in that study:

    (underlining is mine)
    INTRODUCTION The life expectancies of the components of a home depend on the quality of installation, the level of maintenance, weather and climate conditions, and the intensity of use. Some components may remain functional but become obsolete due to changing styles and preferences or improvements in newer products while others may have a short life expectancy due to intensive use. The average life expectancy for some components has increased during the past 35 years because of new products and the introduction of new technologies, while the average life of others has declined. NAHB’s last such study on the life expectancy of housing components was published in Housing Economics in August 1993.

    [Note: This report should be used as a general guideline only. None of the information in this report should be interpreted as a representation, warranty or guarantee regarding the life expectancy or performance of any individual product or product line. Readers should not make buying decisions and/or product selections based solely on the information contained in this report.]


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    How about we just say that it's kind of like a light bulb. It comes on or it doesn't.
    I have a Trane AC unit that I had installed in 1988. The thing works like a charm and has only been serviced once to replace a capacitor. I don't expect that kind of life out of any HVAC units I inspect these days but you just can't tell when they might die. I think the NAHB uses "mean" averages for failures.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    How about we just say that it's kind of like a light bulb. It comes on or it doesn't.
    I have a Trane AC unit that I had installed in 1988. The thing works like a charm and has only been serviced once to replace a capacitor. I don't expect that kind of life out of any HVAC units I inspect these days but you just can't tell when they might die. I think the NAHB uses "mean" averages for failures.
    I know what you mean - our ac system was from 1995, we replaced it last summer, not because it wasn't working, it was, putting out nice cold air and cooling the house quite well, but ... it was (as yours is) 'just an old gas hog' ... being as we had the attic changed from a vented attic with insulation sprayed on the underside of the roof sheathing, and I wanted to relocate the ac units from one end of the house to the other (no need to relocate those old units, might upset them), so we had new units installed and all new ductwork installed ... the end result between the insulation and the new units is that our monthly electrical kwh usage dropped between 25% to 30% on a month-to-month comparisons from the previous year.

    And that is what I used to tell my clients: An old air conditioning system is like an old car, you can keep it running almost forever, but unlike an old car which turns into a nice "classic car", the old ac system is still "just an old gas hog" ... with new parts.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Will there ever be a time when home inspectors learn the difference between "service life" and "life expectancy"?


    Unless you have a crystal ball.....


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Sheppard View Post
    Will there ever be a time when home inspectors learn the difference between "service life" and "life expectancy"?
    Now we get into a much more practical, but useless, discussion including other terms as well:
    - life expectancy
    - service life
    - design life
    - physical life
    - life span

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now we get into a much more practical, but useless, discussion including other terms as well:
    - life expectancy
    - service life
    - design life
    - physical life
    - life span
    Not sure what you mean by useless discussion, but in addition to advising our clients if equipment is operable or not, it is also important for home inspectors to be able to convey to their clients if the equipment in their prospective home is fully depreciated and if they should be budgeting for replacement.

    The original question asked if there was any authority or organization that provides this type of information that would hold up in court.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,721

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    The original question asked if there was any authority or organization that provides this type of information that would hold up in court.
    There is no way to absolutely determine what will "hold up in court", because there is no way to determine how long an appliance will last. As has been said, life often depends on how much the appliance is used and what kind of maintenance it receives.

    Documentation from a recognized source is probably going to be the best bet, but will it "hold up in court" is another matter. The manufacturer will provide a warranty of some sort, which is not necessarily a documentation of expected life span. The Carrier site has FAQs that include life expectancy (below). The NAHB documentation is something that can be used as well, but who knows if it will "hold up in court"?

    A heating contractor might (just might) have kept documentation on ages of appliances that were replaced due to failure. Unlikely.

    In the end, it partially depends on who presents the information and whether or not that individual is believed by the arbitrator, judge or jury.

    http://www.carrier.ca/en/FAQ/20#Q7

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Not sure what you mean by useless discussion,
    The "useless" part was in reference the discussion which could/might take place for the different terms I mentioned as each has a different meaning, but the use of any of the terms with most people would likely bring to mind the same thing.

    I.e. if you were to say "life span" of the equipment is ... or the "serviceable life" ...
    or the "design life" ... or "life expectancy", etc - your client would likely think that you were meaning the same thing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,853

    Default Re: Life expectancy of HVAC equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    In the end, it partially depends on who presents the information and whether or not that individual is believed by the arbitrator, judge or jury.

    http://www.carrier.ca/en/FAQ/20#Q7
    Correct.

    And even Carrier changed terms and implies that the two terms mean the same thing:
    7. What is the life expectancy of my unit?

    8. How can I prolong my system’s lifespan?


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •