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how do you assess remaining useful life of a split system?

have a bldg with several split systems (a few York commercial 5 ton units, and a bunch of residential grade systems).

they have been in service for 13 yrs and are serviced by an outside maintenance firm and are used during the summer, and are performing fine.

is there a way to evaluate how long they will continue to perform?  would it make sense to have an engineering firm evaluate to units condition and how could they evaluate the units?



    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,312
    split systems

    Items to consider

    R-22 refrigerant which is being phased out

    Efficiency of the existing units versus new units based on the hours run during an average year.

    Service history of the units

    If in good condition they could run another 10 years

    If the service history is good, no or at least no multiple compressor replacements. No problematic leak repairs. Units have only needed minor normal service then they could last another 10 years.

    On the other hand, multiple compressor replacements, leaks, lots of service would warrant replacement without any other thought.

    Just my opinion
  • A number of things to consider

    As you may have expected, it is next to impossible to determine how much longer an air conditioning system will last.

    There are some items that were already touched on that are major areas for concern. Probably the biggest is the quality of the installation. Although you will not likely be able to evaluate this first hand, the effects of a good installation include the following:

    - Minimal system down time due to system malfunction or failure

    - Minimal requirements for accessing the refrigerant circuit. If the system was installed properly (evacuation, leak testing and charging) there is probably little or no reason to access the refrigerant circuit

    - Periodic preventive maintenance including filter changing, tightening of electrical connections,motor lubrication where needed, etc.

    But here is another major factor that will have an effect on the useful life of the equipment. Where, geographically, is the equipment located. For example, on Eastern Long Island, where I live, we have about 1000 hours per year during which our cooling equipment will be operating. Compare this to the 4000 hours per year in Southern Florida. Obviously, the more the equipment is used, the shorter its life, in years, will be.

    Hope this helps.
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