If your air conditioning system is under 12 years old, it probably doesn't need to be replaced. The average lifespan of an AC unit is between 15 and 20 years. Any system under 12 years old should have a few years left in it and opting for a repair or minor tune-up should suffice.
HVAC systems require regular maintenance to maximize their useful lifespan. But, even the best maintained HVAC systems should only last 15 - 20 years. To further break this estimate down, you can expect a furnace to last for 15-20 years, heat pumps for 16 years, and AC units can last 10-15 years.
So you've decided it's time to replace your system and you're wondering how long it's going to take to install a new HVAC system? Right off the bat, a typical install for a basic furnace can take 4-10 hours. Likewise, a similar grade AC unit can be installed in 4-8 hours. Installing a combo furnace/AC project can take 8-14 hours.
Expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $4,000 for central air conditioning. The reason this range is so large is because there are a lot of variables to consider. If your home is smaller, requiring a smaller HVAC system and possibly a less intricate installation, you can expect to pay much less. If your ductwork needs to be replaced, it can add a bit more to your bill. The best way to save on an HVAC replacement is to actively monitor your current HVAC system. Proper maintenance if the entire system will ensure the smoothest transition into a replacement system.