How Long Do HVAC Systems Last At The Beach?

Over the past few years, HVAC systems have become necessary in most US households because nothing beats walking into a warm, comfy home on a cold winter’s night or a cool, breezy one when it is scorching outside. However, the ocean’s proximity is a grave threat to any outdoor systems when you live in a coastal area. The mixture of salt and water in the air promotes corrosion in various metals.

How long do HVAC systems last at the beach? Unfortunately, the air content of coastal areas can reduce an HVAC system’s lifespan to between 7 and 12 years. In addition, the equipment lifespan is only a third as long as expected. Luckily, there are methods you can use to counter this problem.

Reading on, you will discover how long the equipment for the HVAC systems lasts in these conditions and how you can increase those life spans.

How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?

An HVAC system typically lasts between 15 and 25 years with proper maintenance. However, if the system is left unmaintained, it will fail in less than ten years. Furthermore, the HVAC system’s different equipment each has its estimated lifespans.

An HVAC system used at the beach has a shorter lifespan due to the exposure to salt in the air. This exposure causes corrosion on parts, equipment, and components susceptible to decay. Therefore, the HVAC system’s lifespan is considerably less and lasts between 7 and 12 years in these conditions.

The Lifespan Of Furnaces

A state-of-the-art gas furnace can last up to 30 years, while generally, it can last up to 20 years if maintained correctly. However, if your gas furnace is poorly maintained, it will not even last you ten years. An oil furnace typically has a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years due to maintenance problems caused by fuel ineffectiveness. In addition, the component usually needs to be replaced when the heat exchanger leaks.

The furnace of an HVAC system used at the beach tends to fail prematurely, typically lasting between 3 and 5 years.

The Lifespan Of Heat Pumps

An HVAC system uses heat pumps during the heating and cooling process. Therefore, heat pumps can last between 10 and 20 years, depending on usage. However, when the compressor fails, or the condenser starts to experience high levels of corrosion and leakage, it is time for you to replace the heat pumps.

Heat pumps installed in coastal HVAC systems have a reduced lifespan of between 7 and 12 years.

The Lifespan Of Boilers

The lifespan of boilers is challenging to determine as it is a very complex component of an HVAC system. Therefore, regular boilers can typically last from 20 to 30 years. However, the rarely found, older cast-iron steam boiler reportedly lasts up to 50 years. Furthermore, high-efficiency boilers have a shorter lifespan ranging from 15 to 20 years. In addition, when the heat exchanger starts leaking, you should replace the boilers.

Proper maintenance on a boiler is highly susceptible to corrosion that can develop in the tank, parts of the boiler that come in contact with water, and on the heat exchanger. NOTE THAT. Corrosion on the heat exchanger can cause it to crack and start leaking dangerous gas.

HVAC systems boilers can last from 5 to 15 years when used in a coastal area, greatly depending on the model of the boilers. However, it is rare for boilers in a coastal location to last more than ten years.

The Lifespan Of Air Conditioning Unit

Air conditioning units typically last you 15 to 20 years if regularly maintained. However, in warmer areas

where the air conditioning unit operates more frequently, the component’s lifespan rarely exceeds 15 years. However, if the air conditioning unit is not maintained, it will not even last you ten years. The part usually needs to be replaced when the compressor fails, the condenser starts to leak, and when it develops corrosion.

If you install an HVAC system with an air conditioning unit in a coastal area, you can expect a much faster fail rate with a component lifespan as low as five years due to the weather conditions and salt in the air.

The Lifespan Of Thermostats

A thermostat typically lasts up to 25 years with proper maintenance. However, it is common for homeowners to replace the component when a newer version is available on the market. Thus, saving them a lot of money on their monthly energy bills. In addition, you should consider replacing the thermostat whenever you replace the HVAC system’s furnace or air conditioning unit.

HVAC systems you install at the beach will significantly decrease the lifespan of the thermostats. With the salt exposure at the beach, the component tends to last for less than eight years.

The Best HVAC Systems To Have At The Beach

HVAC systems ideal for coastal use are systems you install mostly or entirely indoors to avoid exposure to the corrosive air. Therefore, the more equipment and parts indoors, the better the system will perform and endure in a coastal area.

1. Geothermal Heat Pump

Average Cost – Above$18 000

This HVAC system is perfect for coastal areas as it has no exposed outdoor components. Additionally, they are a very environment-friendly and energy-conscious choice for heating and cooling your home. Though the Geothermal Heat Pump has a hefty price tag, it is well worth it because of the accumulating monthly savings on your energy bill and the upkeep, maintenance, and replacement costs involved with other HVAC Systems.

The Geothermal Heat Pump System uses underground sources such as water and soil to warm and cool water pumped through underground pipes. After that, the water is pumped back to your home and creates and maintains the desired temperature. Furthermore, no ductwork is needed for this process if you connect the pump to a hydronic system.

2. Electric Furnace And AC System

Average Cost – Above $6 000

The Electric Furnace And AC System is suitable for warmer areas as it uses an electrical furnace for heating and an electrical cooling system. However, you must add ductwork to the system, which can be a pricy process to generate large amounts of heat. However, it is less expensive to operate than gas or oil and eliminates the potential hazards. In addition, the system is a lot more eco-friendly and only requires electricity to function.

3. Boiler And AC System

Average Cost – Above $9 500

The Boiler And AC System is well known for its boiler element, usually installed in the home’s basement. It is connected to the rest of the system using pipes and radiators. In addition, you can combine it with an air conditioning system to complete your home’s heating and cooling needs. Furthermore, the entire system is indoors, making it ideal for use by the ocean as it won’t be affected by corrosion.

4. Mini Split Heat Pump

Average Cost – Above $8 000

The Mini Split Heat Pump offers one of the highest energy efficiencies. In addition, your home’s existing ductwork houses the installation of the indoor components of the system. Furthermore, the Mini Split Heat Pump only has one outdoor component, exposing fever parts to the corrosive mixtures in the ocean air. However, the replacement parts of the system can be hard to obtain for a service.

5. Heat Pump And Air Handler System

Average Cost – $7 000

The Heat Pump And Air Handler systems are significantly cheaper than other HVAC systems, Although the heat strips needed for heat production can be pretty costly. Furthermore, It consists of a heat pump usually situated outside the home that uses a refrigerant to send hot air outside and vice versa. Therefore, the components can corrode faster because they have parts exposed to the ocean air.

6. Furnace And Split AC System

Average Cost – $6 500

The Furnace And Split AC systems are ideal for larger homes as you can easily customize the system to meet your requirements. However, this system has an outdoor cabinet that houses the compressor and condenser used for cooling and heating. Furthermore, the Furnace And Split AC System significantly dries out the air and spreads allergens and dust through your home, making it unsuitable for people with allergies.

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How To Make An HVAC Systems Last Longer At The Beach?

To ensure that your HVAC system lasts as long as possible in these conditions, you must perform regular inspections and maintenance, take extra measures to protect the system, and know when and why to contact trained professionals to assist you with your HVAC system and the equipment. In addition, you need to keep the components of the system up-to-date and replace them as required to maximize the system’s lifespan.

1. Ensure That Regular Maintenance On The HVAC System Is Done

Replace the filters – The HVAC system removes hair, dust, smoke, and other particles from the air in your home to improve the air quality. However, this process’s effectiveness and energy consumption depend on the air filters’ condition. Depending on how the filter looks, you can replace the filters every 1 to 3 months.

Keep the outside unit and surrounding area clean – You should regularly clean the external unit and remove branches, leaves, grass, and other debris on and around the unit. In addition, you should trim the surrounding grass, plants, and bushes short to help maintain airflow and avoid damaging the unit.

Perform regular inspection of the HVAC system – Inspect the system thoroughly each month to ensure the HVAC system and equipment are running smoothly. During the assessment, you should inspect the following:

  • All doors, filter access, hatches, and cabinets are securely closed.
  • No debris is on, under, or near any of the units.
  • All vents are clean and open
  • All relevant component’s battery levels are acceptable
  • All parts for rot, corrosion, and leaks

Compare monthly energy bills – Monitor your monthly energy bills for any fluctuations or sudden changes as it indicates something is wrong with the HVAC system. If you notice a potential problem, contact the local HVAC technician as soon as possible to resolve the issue.

Stay in contact with the local HVAC technicians – Ensure that you schedule a service and inspection of your HVAC system by an HVAC technician at least twice a year. The technician will ensure that your system is running smoothly, prevent breakdowns, and adequately maintain the system’s equipment.

2. Apply Commercial Rust-Resistant Coating

Contact the local HVAC technician to request a call-out. They are professionally trained and can apply a commercial-grade rust-resistant coating to your system. This coating is essential in coastal areas where the air content dramatically increases the corrosion of various metals found in these systems. Therefore, it can improve your HVAC system’s life span by up to 7 years.

3. Keep Your HVAC System Clean

The outdoor unit is water-resistant and can fully function in the rain. Therefore, it is perfectly safe for you to spray the system down with a garden hose regularly. This process cleans the unit, helps prevent salt from building up, and extends the HVAC system’s lifespan.

4. Upgrade Your Homes Insulation

Sealing any air gaps and insulating all exterior surfaces can reduce drafts and uneven temperatures to keep you feel more comfortable in the summer and winter. As a result, your HVAC system needs to run for shorter periods. Therefore, the system will last considerably longer, even in the coastal environment. In addition, when you insulate your home, it is easier to focus on the basement and attic than on the walls.

Start by insulating any gaps, vents, and ducts in the attic. In addition, ensure that you seal all hatches, windows, doors, and other openings that you can find. Furthermore, you can improve your home’s insulation by looking for and closing dark spots on the insulation as it can indicate a leak, the areas around the electrical sockets, window and door frames, and where cables and pipes run through the walls and roof.


The coastal circumstances reduce the lifespan of the relatively expensive HVAC system and its equipment. However, you can still enjoy conditioned air in your coastal home due to various methods to ensure the HVAC system lasts longer in these circumstances. In addition, regular maintenance, replacing the correct parts when needed, and knowing when to seek professional help are crucial to the HVAC system’s preservation.