Whether you plan to buy a new AC unit or think about maintaining your current AC, you may come across one question, “how long do AC units last?” It may be devastating to know that your comfort companion won’t last a lifetime.
An Air conditioner is a machine with multiple components and parts working together at the same time. It has a compressor, condenser coils, evaporator coil, refrigerant, motor, fans, etc. Each of these components requires proper care to function properly.
Those well-maintained AC units usually last 10 to 15 years. However, the home air conditioner’s lifespan varies based on several factors. Now, let’s deep dive into each aspect to learn more about how long AC units last!
What Affects the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner?
When it comes to determining the lifespan of AC units, several factors will affect it. Let’s identify these factors below:
AC System Age – AC Systems have different average ages when they reach their half-life. For instance, a central AC system lasts 15 years, while window models stay around ten years.
Maintenance – The more you maintain your AC, the longer it will last. It is best to perform routine preventive maintenance at least once per year to ensure proper operation of the unit.
Usage – If you use your AC unit most of the time, you may reduce its lifespan by approximately 15% compared to being used sparingly.
Weather Conditions – The heat and humidity can harm an AC unit’s lifespan. Therefore, the more you use your air conditioner to battle against extreme climates, the sooner it will break down. It is especially true for areas that experience harsh weather conditions all year long.
Location/Climate – If you live in a mild climate and moderately use your AC most of the time, then chances are higher that it will last longer. A hot and humid location with abusive climate conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes or forest fires with smoke damage may decrease the lifespan of your system.
Manufacturers/Models – When we talk about how long AC units last, manufacturers and models also play a significant role. Those AC units built with high-quality parts and materials may last longer than those with as many internal components to support durability. In general, the more expensive brands tend to last longer as compared to cheaper brands as well.
Size – AC units that are too big or too small will not function as efficiently compared to those with their temperature in a balanced range (not too cold and not too hot). It would be best to purchase an AC unit with the correct size based on the space it needs to cool down or heat up.
How to Extend Air Conditioner Lifespan?
There are many things you can do to help your air conditioner lasts long. However, it needs proper steps and techniques for a much better result! Here is a list of 7 tips that will help you increase your home air conditioner’s lifespan:
Clean it regularly
Dirty evaporator coils reduce airflow efficiency by up to 30%. Ensure both indoor and outdoor coils are clean for maximum performance.
Change air filters monthly
It would help if you changed filters monthly at least once a month to prevent dirt from accumulating inside the system as a routine practice. A clogged filter will reduce airflow, which means it will take longer for AC to cool the indoor environment even though you have set the desired temperature so high!
Standard air filters reduce airflow by up to 30%, whereas specially designed high-performance filters are available in the market, which reduces airflow by only 5%.
Cover outdoor units
If you have an outdoor unit, place a cover on it or provide shade covering during the summer months so that you won’t excessively expose your AC to heat and humidity outside. Also, outdoor units do not benefit from rainwater and wind blowing over them since they need stable temperatures for proper operation and deck drainage systems.
Turn off the thermostat when not in use
Your thermostat is programmed to turn your AC off when it reaches a certain temperature set point, but you should turn off the thermostat when it is not in use. Also, adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
Clean condenser coils
The build-up of dirt and dust on your unit’s outdoor coils reduces its ability to cool your home space properly. Clean or replace the evaporator coil annually for best results.
Perform regular maintenance
Performing regular maintenance on your AC will help it last longer. Clean or replace air filters, check refrigerant charge levels and perform all other recommended tasks as per manufacturer guidelines for optimum performance. In addition, avoid placing objects on top of the unit outside unless these are items that cover it from rainwater!
When is The Best Time to Replace Your AC Unit?
You can’t expect your AC unit to last forever, and there comes the point in time when it will start showing signs of wear and tear. Keeping up with regular maintenance can delay this process, but some AC units fail earlier than others, depending on how the owner takes care of it over their lifetime.
Here are a few signs that indicate you need to replace your home air conditioner:
- Not as Efficient as It Used to Be
- Costly repair bills
- Frequent service calls
- Excessive humidity inside your home
- Uneven temperature distribution
- Water leakage around air conditioner units
- Higher utility bills as compared to other homes in your neighbourhood
If you have noticed any of these signs for a year or so, it’s time to replace your AC unit. It will be a wise investment for you and save you money on repair bills in the long run. Just make a quick call to a professional air conditioner replacement service to get a free estimate.
Replace old single-stage AC with new energy-efficient two-stage models that have SEER ratings of 16 or higher. Also, focus more on insulation and sealing since they play significant roles in saving cooling costs too!
How Long Do AC Units Last – Conclusion
An AC system is undoubtedly one of the most valuable appliances in your life. Still, it is best to give regular care and maintenance to ensure trouble-free functioning over its lifetime. A standard AC unit lasts for 10 to 15 years, while a high-efficiency unit may last 20+ years.
However, proper care involving regular maintenance can help you prolong their lifespans by several years. Just follow the tips mentioned above and tricks to keep your home AC unit in great shape for years to come.