I do agree that it’s unlikely you’ll (we’ll) get 17 years out of residential equipment in the future. Ten to 15 is more likely.
I had to read that twice. Ten years? Weak engineering or just another scam?
Our natural gas furnace is a HEIL installed in 1996. Our a/c is an old GE with a red General Electric emblem. How old is that? 30 years for sure.
At our other house it’s all Williamson. Heat pump and oil burning furnace I believe was installed in about 1980. Works great.
Our furnace was put in sometime in the 1960s and still going strong. They don’t make them like that anymore. And that’s probably a good thing.
It isn’t a scam or conspiracy as much as intentionally managing life expectancy. They design the products and the process to manufacture the products concurrently – done together at the same time – so the designers do not over-engineer parts to last much longer than the warranty [which is like 10 years]. By doing that they keep the purchase price lower which matters to most home owners. It isn’t poorer quality because they also work like crazy to make sure the products have very few defects initially and last through warranty – its that the parts have more consistent and predictable reliability.
In the old days they just engineered the $hit out of every thing but generally the manufacturing processes were not as good – more likely to have a part or two out of spec right off the line or fail quickly in the field… BUT if you made it past that initial period those machines never wore out.
Its a different philosophy today. And frankly I think for the most part a better one. But there are trade offs.